June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.212.1 - 14.212.14
Analysis of a Statewide K-12 Engineering Program: Learning from the Field Abstract
Engineering Our Future New Jersey (EOFNJ), an ongoing statewide initiative to infuse engineering into K-12 science, mathematics, and technology curricula, has recently concluded a three-year effort to reach 2,000 elementary, middle, and high school education professionals with professional development activities and an awareness-building campaign. This program, which has focused on teacher professional development using a variety of exemplary K-12 engineering curricula with varying degrees of intensity and classroom support, has reached more than 2,400 education professionals. Quantitative and qualitative results of a multifaceted study of EOFNJ are reported in this paper to demonstrate the impact such programs can have on education and to provide insight on establishing and nurturing these programs through the example set by two school districts.
Imagine a third grade classroom where a student announces “I want to be an engineer when I grow up.” And another chimes in “My dad’s an engineer and I never knew what it was and now I understand what my dad does at work.” Or imagine an eighth grade class implementing an engineering unit where several students, characterized by their teachers as being disaffected, ask permission to bring their projects home so they can have more time to work on them. For teachers in two New Jersey school districts, these are not imaginings; these are actual experiences resulting from the introduction of engineering activities in their classrooms.
As participants in the Engineering Our Future New Jersey (EOFNJ) Program, these teachers are among the 2,400 elementary, middle, and high school educators in New Jersey who have been introduced to engineering concepts and curricula along with methods for teaching engineering at the K-12 level. EOFNJ has recently concluded the third year of a statewide professional development and awareness-building effort aimed at infusing engineering into K-12 science, mathematics, and engineering curricula. The focus in this ongoing program over the last three years has been on providing teacher professional development using a variety of exemplary K-12 engineering curricula with varying degrees of intensity and classroom support.
While the classrooms described above are actual examples of the positive impact that the program has had on students in classrooms of teachers who have participated in the EOFNJ program, they are examples of classrooms and districts where engineering curricula and related activities have flourished. Not surprisingly, these results have not been realized for all of the participants in the program. In an effort to understand both the impact of the EOFNJ program and the reasons or conditions leading to the adoption and institutionalization of EOFNJ- promoted curricula and programs in some situations, we have conducted an internal evaluation of the program including an online survey of program participants and interviews with faculty and staff at two participating school districts. The results are being presented here in an effort to highlight the potential impact such programs can have on teachers and students and to portray
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015