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Comparison of Two Curriculum Models for Mapping Engineering Core Concepts to Existing Science and Mathematics Standards

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Core Concepts, Standards, and Policy in K-12 Engineering Education

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.354.1 - 22.354.15



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Paper Authors


Mike Ryan Georgia Institute of Technology

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CEISMC, Georgia Tech

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Brian D. Gane Georgia Institute of Technology

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Brian Gane is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech and a research assistant at CEISMC. His research focuses on skill acquisition and instructional design.

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Marion Usselman Georgia Institute of Technology

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Marion Usselman is Associate Director for Federal Outreach and Research for Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing. She has been with CEISMC since 1996 managing programs, interacting with K-12 schools, and assisting Georgia Tech faculty in creating K-12 educational outreach initiatives. Before coming to CEISMC, Marion earned her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University and taught biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Engineering Design and Robotics as a Context for Standards-Base Inquiry in Secondary Science.There is increasing national concern, expressed by our science, technology, engineering andmathematics (STEM) leaders in the National Academies of Science and Engineering and in thepopular press by journalists such as Thomas Friedman, that the United States may be ill-equipped to handle the economic, technological, and environmental workforce challenges of thefuture. Some of the interventions that have gained prominence in response to these concerns arebased on the use of engineering design and robotics as tools to promote academic engagementand to teach science and mathematics content. Engineering design scenarios provide students notonly interesting contexts for learning; they also embody the content and skill knowledge of thescience and math standards. This provides teachers the ability to teach content in more engagingways. Furthermore, engineering design experiences and robotics provide students withopportunities to innovate and create original solutions and experience what engineers actuallydo. Perhaps for the first time they come to see science, technology, and mathematics assomething that exists beyond the classroom, as fields that can be integrated together to create afinal product, and as areas that they may pursue further in school or as a career. What remains tobe determined is whether classroom activities based on engineering design and robotics canrealistically and effectively be used to teach both inquiry science, including the core disciplinaryscience ideas included within science standards, as well as engineering concepts.The National Research Council has recently released a draft of the Framework for New ScienceEducation Standards that includes, for the first time, engineering standards. These engineering-focused standards are presented alongside life science, earth and space science, and physicalscience as one of four major disciplinary areas, but risk being significantly marginalized in mostmiddle and high schools unless integrated seamlessly into the existing science curriculum. Thispaper will explore how an NSF-sponsored curriculum development project is integratingengineering and physical science standards using engineering design and robotics as theorganizing context, and problem-based inquiry learning as the pedagogical framework.

Ryan, M., & Gane, B. D., & Usselman, M. (2011, June), Comparison of Two Curriculum Models for Mapping Engineering Core Concepts to Existing Science and Mathematics Standards Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17635

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