June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.367.1 - 23.367.32
Defining Engineering in K-12 in North CarolinaA great deal of national attention has recently been focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering,and mathematics) education as an educational innovation. The truth is that science and mathematicshave always been taught. Technology, in the sense of instructional tools, has found its way into someplaces and not into others, and most STEM educational efforts really exclude engineering. More recentconversation has centered on so-called I-STEM, or integrated STEM, with the implication that the fourinvolved subjects are not stand-alone but really have some interdependencies. Some groups want touse the term STEAM to officially recognize the important role of the arts. What is needed going forwardis not a debate on semantics, but a true paradigm shift in education. This is the role that engineeringcan play in K-12 and beyond, using knowledge and experience to solve problems.The state of North Carolina has had a history of leadership in educational matters. North Carolinacareer and technical education (CTE) already addresses many of the engineering topics that can be socritical to teaching children to think. Unfortunately, CTE does not extend into elementary school and isseverely limited in some middle schools for budgetary reasons. CTE in high school has a distinguishedhistory. Here, however, the teaching of engineering-related topics has become strongly linked to specificengineering content classes. Other CTE courses and other programs throughout the curriculum do notcontain engineering content. Thinking of engineering, not as a discipline but as an integrator andbringer of relevance to any class, represents a true paradigm shift.This paper describes a recent effort to write educational standards for the state of North Carolina thatdefine engineering in the K-12 space. The effort began with the various standards in use in other statesand incorporated information from NAE publications, the NAEP Technological and Engineering literacyframework and the original States Career Clusters work. Over twenty separate sources were used tocraft the outline of these standards. The standards themselves will be defined as well as how they arebeing incorporated as a set of connections for other, tested, subjects in the Standard Course of Study forNorth Carolina.
Bottomley, L., & Parry, E. A. (2013, June), Defining Engineering in K-12 in North Carolina Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19381
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