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Classroom Implementation of Instructional Modules Developed by Teachers During Engineering RET Programs: A Follow-up Study

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Research to Practice: STRAND 1 – Addressing the NGSS: Supporting K-12 Teachers in Engineering Pedagogy and Engineering Science Connections (Part 1)

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.350.1 - 26.350.11



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Paper Authors


Linda S. Hirsch New Jersey Institute of Technology

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LINDA S. HIRSCH is the Program Evaluator for the Center for Pre-College programs. She has a doctoral
degree in educational psychology with a specialty in psychometrics and a Masters degree in statistics.
She has been involved in all aspects of educational and psychological research for over 20 years. Dr.
Hirsch has extensive experience conducting longitudinal research studies and is proficient in database
management, experimental design, instrument development, psychometrics and statistical programming.

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Howard S. Kimmel New Jersey Institute of Technology

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HOWARD KIMMEL is Professor-Emeritus of Chemical Engineering and Retired Executive Director of the Center for Pre-College Programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Kimmel is currently providing his services on a part-time basis as a Special Assistant for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development with a focus on alignment of teaching practices with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. He has spent almost forty years designing and implementing professional development programs, curricula, and assessment of student learning for K-12 teachers in STEM. At the college level, he collaborates on projects exploring teaching methodologies and assessment strategies in undergraduate courses in the sciences, engineering, and computer science. Dr. Kimmel has received numerous awards in recognition of his service, including: ASEE 1985 Vincent Bendix Minorities in Engineering Award, and ASEE CENTENNIAL MEDALION for ”Significant Lasting Impact on Engineering Education,” 1993. The NJIT Foundation Overseers Public and Institute Service Award, 1981 (First Recipient) and in 2005; and the Allan R. Cullimore Distinguished Service Award (NJIT) for 1991.

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John D. Carpinelli New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. John D. Carpinelli is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has served as coordinator of activities at NJIT for the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition and as a member of the Coalition’s Governing Board. He previously chaired NJIT’s Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee and is Past Chair of the University Master Teacher Committee.

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Classroom Implementation of Instructional Modules Developed by Teachers during Engineering RET Programs: A Follow-up Study (RTP – STRAND 1).Most K-12 teachers in the United States have not been trained to incorporate engineering andtechnology topics into classroom lessons and there is a lack of high-quality curricular materialsin these areas. The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)have been developed as an effective means to expose secondary school science teachers to theworld of research and introduce them to the field of engineering. The ultimate goal of most RETprograms is for teachers to be able to synthesize their research experience and integrate their newskills and knowledge into an instructional module they can implement in their classroom.Bringing the concepts of scientific inquiry and engineering into K-12 classroom is especiallyimportant with the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards. Although reports onthe results of most RET programs appear to be positive in terms of teacher satisfaction, gainingresearch skills and improved content knowledge about engineering, few programs have reportedon the use of any systematic process to guide teachers in the development of their instructionalmodules or lesson plans, and most programs appear to lack follow-up and\or reports ofclassroom implementation from the lessons.Our University has completed one three-year RET program in the area of pharmaceuticalengineering and has begun a second. Each participating teacher has been able to enrich his or herown knowledge-base as a STEM education professional as an active member of a research team.Each teacher was able to gain a better understanding of how scientists and engineers engage inresearch and how the term inquiry is integral to the research process. And finally, each teacherwas able to synthesize his or her research experience in order to integrate the acquired contentknowledge and skills into a learning module for their students, but preparation of lesson plans isoften a challenging experience for teachers, especially when the lessons involve new contentthey have just learned. Our experience guiding teachers in lesson plan development has shown usthat teachers will generally develop instructional strategies first, without realizing the importanceof learning objectives for providing direction in the development of lessons and alignment withstandards. As a result, for the teacher professional development component of our RET we havedeveloped a systematic process for guiding teachers through the development of theirinstructional modules including standards-based lesson planning, and aligning the lessons withthe Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).The proposed paper is a follow-up study that focuses on the content and classroomimplementation of the teachers’ instructional modules, evaluation of the effectiveness of thelesson plans, and an assessment of the student work products as a result of the lessons thatdemonstrate student acquisition of skills and knowledge specified by the learning objectives andassociated student-centered learning experience.

Hirsch, L. S., & Kimmel, H. S., & Carpinelli, J. D. (2015, June), Classroom Implementation of Instructional Modules Developed by Teachers During Engineering RET Programs: A Follow-up Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23689

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