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Adapting The Engineering Design Process For Elementary Education Applications

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.127.1 - 10.127.9



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Paper Authors

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Richard Gilbert

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Robert Poth Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School

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Robin Little Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School

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Marilyn Barger Hillsborough Community College

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1793

Adapting the Engineering Design Process for Elementary Education

Robert Poth, Robin Little, Marilyn Barger, Richard A. Gilbert D. L. Jamerson Elementary School /D. L. Jamerson Elementary School/FL-ATE, Florida Center for Manufacturing Education at Hillsborough Community College/ University of South Florida


Kindergarten through fifth grade students are uniquely challenged each and every day they attend Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Center for Mathematics and Engineering (DLJCME). As a new elementary school in the Pinellas County (FL) School District, in 2003-2004, Jamerson’s administration and staff have been charged with the task of building an elementary school with a math and engineering focus. After one academic year, Jamerson is well on its way. The school is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a Center for Mathematics and Engineering for Elementary Education. The mission for DLJCME is to promote, facilitate, and improve the use of mathematics and the understanding of science among its students by integrating mathematics, science, and engineering design within every subject and across each grade level at Jamerson Elementary.

D.L. Jamerson’s overarching goal is to present required standards-based curriculum as a learning adventure that is enriched by applying engineering skills (integrated knowledge of mathematics, science, language, history, and the arts) for problem solving and higher order thinking at the appropriate level in all classrooms and subjects. The execution of its curriculum is not the production of a collection of miniature things like pyramids or volcanoes. Nor are Jamerson students in the gadget, robot, widget, and/or thing-a-majig creation business. DLJCME uses the engineering design process and its associated engineering projects as the foundation of an instructional strategy to help its students gain important conceptual understandings as well as develop secure problem solving skills. At Jamerson, design activities emphasize design challenges that rely on mathematics and science skills also being taught at each grade level as well as any relevant knowledge and skills developed, learned, and secured in earlier grades. This approach prompts inquiry and analysis as well as discourse among students and teachers. It also leads to project concept closure which is seldom accomplished in many trial and error design efforts. A vision of the schoolwide curriculum is illustrated in Figure 1, which was developed by the Douglas L. Jamerson Core Team during its early goal setting workshops before the school officially opened.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Gilbert, R., & Poth, R., & Little, R., & Barger, M. (2005, June), Adapting The Engineering Design Process For Elementary Education Applications Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15533

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