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Development Of Engineering Focused Lesson Plans For K 8 Teachers And Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.429.1 - 8.429.7

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Paper Authors

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John Schemmel

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

Session 2530

Development of Engineering Focused Lesson Plans for K8 Teachers and Students

John J. Schemmel University of Arkansas, College of Engineering


While the entire population continually benefits from the work of engineering professionals, there are still relatively few graduating high school seniors electing to pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering. The fact that an engineering degree is not widely considered by entering freshmen is not a new development. However, it is becoming a more serious problem as the number of engineering graduates is failing to keep pace with demand. Most individuals involved in engineering outreach efforts agree that it is important to capture the attention of a child at an early age. If children are unaware of a profession, they cannot explore that occupation through play and personal discovery. That profession then goes unrecognized until it is too late; the now young adult has already placed personal boundaries on their professional future.

Several initiatives have been proposed and implemented in order to affect a child's awareness of engineering. In fact, the author was instrumental in the creation of a series of age appropriate videotapes focused specifically on Civil Engineering. These tapes have been widely disseminated and well received. While positive feedback continues to be received it has become apparent that there remains a need for other educational resources. These resources can be used in the K8 classroom, at a Career Day presentation, as a Boy/Girl Scout activity, and the like. Given this feedback, the decision was made to create a selection of lesson plans, again, age appropriate and focused on Civil Engineering.

One motivating factor for creating these lesson plans was a need to provide the end user a selection of self-contained educational units which introduce children, and young adults, to the profession of Civil Engineering. Forty-five lesson plans have been created where each lesson utilizes only readily available materials, each requires little or no cost for materials, and all lessons are packaged on one compact disk. Included on the disk are copies of the three original videotapes mentioned above. While this package focuses on Civil Engineering, it should be considered a model for introducing any engineering discipline to a child or young adult.

Criteria for Creating a Lesson Plan

As mentioned above, forty-five lesson plans have been created and packaged on a single compact disk. The lesson plans are separated into three grade levels: K to 2th grade, 3rd to 5th grade, and 6th to 8th grade, and five Civil Engineering sub-disciplines: geotechnical, environmental, structural, surveying, and transportation. There are three lessons for each combination of grade level and sub-discipline, or 3 x 3 x 5 = 45. Each lesson plan has been saved

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Schemmel, J. (2003, June), Development Of Engineering Focused Lesson Plans For K 8 Teachers And Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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: © 2003 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