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Engineering Our Future Nj: Promoting Engineering In K 12 Schools Through Professional Development, Policy Initiatives, And Partnerships

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Teac

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.516.1 - 13.516.14



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Paper Authors

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Elisabeth McGrath Stevens Institute of Technology

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Mercedes McKay Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dawna Schultz Stevens Institute of Technology

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

Engineering Our Future NJ: Promoting Engineering in K-12 Schools through Professional Development, Policy Initiatives, and Partnerships


This paper describes the statewide scale-up phase of an initiative whose goal is to ensure all students in New Jersey experience engineering as an integral component of their K-12 education, not merely as an extracurricular activity or elective course. Building on a pilot effort and supported by several corporate and competitive federal and state grants, the program aims to: reach a critical mass of 2,000 teachers with professional development in exemplary K-12 engineering curricula; influence policy to strengthen educational standards and assessments; and create a statewide network of partner organizations who deliver or host professional development and provide technical support to neighboring schools. This paper describes the professional development and curricular programs they support; the policy landscape and efforts; and the strategies, including catalyst grants, used to engage community colleges, institutions of teacher education, and other organizations, in outreach and programming. In addition to these activities, the EOFNJ initiative has launched an awareness-building effort to disseminate critical messages to various stakeholder groups, including school administrators, and the parent community. A research effort, in its early stages, is underway to understand the impact of EOFNJ activities statewide and in several school districts.


The adoption of new state K-12 curriculum content standards in 2004 raised awareness of the possible role of engineering in K-12 education in the state; however the resulting policy documents created ambiguity regarding the requirements for all students to study technology education and engineering and the associated methods of assessment. The Engineering Our Future New Jersey (EOFNJ) initiative, led by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology, is focused on strengthening New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards to ensure that all students, elementary through high school, experience engineering as an integral component of their education, not merely as an elective course or extra-curricular activity. The Stevens initiative represents one program of those offered by some 18 institutions which provide K-12 outreach in pre-college engineering programming in New Jersey, including Rutgers and New Jersey Institute of Technology, which have offered such programs for nearly 30 years. Other engineering universities, community colleges, and at least one college of teacher education, Montclair State University have also been involved in K-12 engineering outreach. 1

Engineering Our Future NJ Overview

The EOFNJ initiative is a multi-pronged effort launched in 2005 that includes: pre- and in-service teacher professional development; policy initiatives; partnerships and capacity- building efforts; promotion; and a research component. Its stated goal is to ensure all

McGrath, E., & McKay, M., & Schultz, D. (2008, June), Engineering Our Future Nj: Promoting Engineering In K 12 Schools Through Professional Development, Policy Initiatives, And Partnerships Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3431

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