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Elementary Engineering Implementation and Student Learning Outcomes

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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

Research Related to Learning and Teaching Engineering in Elementary Classrooms

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.550.1 - 22.550.12



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Paper Authors


Jeremy V. Ernst North Carolina State University

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Jeremy V. Ernst is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education at North Carolina State University. He currently teaches courses in digital media and emerging technologies. Jeremy specializes in research involving students categorized as at-risk of dropping out of school. He also has curriculum research and development experiences in technology and trade and industrial education.

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Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Laura Bottomley received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1984 and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from Virginia Tech. She received her Ph D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992.

In 1997 she became a faculty member at NC State University and became the Director of Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place. She has taught classes at the university from the freshman level to the graduate level, and outside the university from the kindergarten level to the high school level.

Dr. Bottomley has authored or co-authored 37 technical papers, including papers in such diverse journals as the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine and the Hungarian Journal of Telecommunications. She received the President's Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentoring program award in 1999 and individual award in 2007. She was recognized by the IEEE with an EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education in 2009 and by the YWCA with an appointment to the Academy of Women for Science and Technology in 2008. Her program received the WEPAN Outstanding Women in Engineering Program Award in 2009. Her work was featured on the National Science Foundation Discoveries web site. She is a member of Sigma Xi, past chair of the K-12 and Precollege Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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Elizabeth A. Parry North Carolina State University

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Elizabeth Parry is a K-12 STEM curriculum and professional development consultant and the coordinator of K-20 STEM Partnership Development at North Carolina State University's College of Engineering. She has over twenty five years of experience in industry and STEM education. Prior to her current position, Ms. Parry was the project director of RAMP-UP, an NSF and GE funded project focused on increasing math achievement in K-12 through the use of collaboration between undergraduate and graduate STEM students and classroom teachers. She is an active member of ASEE, NCTM, NSTA, and ITEEA. Ms. Parry is currently the chair elect of the ASEE K-12 and Precollege Division and a member of the Triangle Coalition Board of Directors.

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Jerome P. Lavelle North Carolina State University

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Jerome Lavelle is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at NC State University.

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Elementary Engineering Implementation and Student Learning Outcomes AbstractK-12 schools across the nation are implementing or considering implementingvarious curricula that use engineering. From high school curricula that are fairlycomprehensive (i.e. Project Lead the Way) to textbooks intended for middle or highschool courses (i.e. Survey of Engineering from Great Lakes Press) to elementaryschool after school clubs based on activities from engineering societies and morecomprehensive sets of activities (i.e. Engineering is Elementary from the Museum ofScience, Boston), enthusiam for engineering in K-12 is increasing. These curricularactivites have different foci from increasing technological literacy to encouragingstudents to pursue engineering. Although those who are engineers are enthusiaticabout this trend, to date, there is only cursory assessment data available to indicate theefficacy of any of these approaches to meeting their respective goals. Consequently,there is no guarantee that the overall effect on the fields of engineering will not benegative, if these activities become nothing more than an educational “fad.” Solidresearch on the abilty of engineering curricula to support solid student learning isneeded. This manuscript describes a project designed to comprehensively assessstudent learning with an elementary school curriculum (Engineering is Elementary)and a comprehensive implementation in math, science, language arts, social studiesand technological literacy. North Carolina State University Colleges of Engineeringand Education have partenered with two North Carolina public elementary schoolsand the Museum of Science, Boston to support existing implementations ofengineering magnet elementary schools. The pilot test implementation at an initialtest site has been researched with regards to student learning in design, engineering,and science; student attitudes toward STEM content; and teacher implementation andeffectiveness.

Ernst, J. V., & Bottomley, L., & Parry, E. A., & Lavelle, J. P. (2011, June), Elementary Engineering Implementation and Student Learning Outcomes Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17831

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