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Engineering within K-12 from the Teacher’s Perspective: Effectively Integrating Engineering Activities Tied to Educational Standards

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 Professional Development I

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.525.1 - 23.525.10



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Paper Authors


Debra Kay Gallagher Ohio Northern University

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Dr. Debra Gallagher is an assistant professor of Education at Ohio Northern University. She teaches courses in Middle Childhood Methods, Math Methods, and Science Methods. Dr. Gallagher is very involved in designing and presenting professional development opportunities for K-12 math and science teachers. She has received several grants and is currently the Co-PI of an Ohio Board of Regents Improving Teacher Quality Grant. Dr. Gallagher serves as the president of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics and her research interests include STEM Education in K-12.

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Kenneth Reid Ohio Northern University

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Dr. Kenneth "Ken" Reid is the director of First-Year Engineering, director of Engineering Education and an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Ohio Northern University. He was the seventh person in the U.S. to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. He is active in engineering within K-12, serving on the TSA Boards of Directors and over ten years on the IEEE-USA Precollege Education Committee. He was named the Herbert F. Alter chair of Engineering in 2010. His research interests include success in first-year engineering, introducing entrepreneurship into engineering, international service and engineering in K-12.

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Engineering within K-12 from the Teacher’s Perspective: Effectively Integrating Engineering Activities Tied to Educational StandardsReports such as the National Academies’ “Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding theStatus and Improving the Prospects” describe the importance of effectively incorporatingengineering concepts into the K-12 curriculum. However, as stated in “Standards for K–12Engineering Education?” developing stand-alone engineering standards is not currentlyrecommended for a number of reasons including “although theoretically possible to developstandards for K–12 engineering education, it would be extremely difficult to ensure theirusefulness and effective implementation” at this time, in part because “there is not at present acritical mass of teachers qualified to deliver engineering instruction.” is in its second year of workshops designed to introduce hands-on engineeringconcepts into the classrooms primarily within grades 5-10. The series of workshops involves adetailed introduction to the revised educational standards in the state of . Hands-onactivities designed to introduce engineering concepts while specifically addressing thesestandards are introduced to the teachers along with success stories. Free and readily accessiblelesson plans are from the IEEE sponsored web site, andEngineering Go For it, are used. Unique to this workshop is the consistent attentionto specific math and science standards addressed, as well as the use of an engineering designprocess as a problem solving tool.The first year of the program culminated with a symposium, where teachers demonstrated thesuccesses from their classrooms. Teachers in the second cohort were given access to webresources designed to illustrate the content from previous grades (to give an idea of realisticexpectations) and following grades (to understand what is expected from their grade). Teacherswere given a week-long, in-depth introduction to robotics, rocketry or Lego Mindstormprogramming and their ties to their educational standards.The paper will describe the results of the assessment from two cohorts of teachers and describethe implementation of the program for those institutions interested in building upon these efforts.Specifically of interest, establishing a concrete tie from these engineering activities to relevanteducational standards, allowing teachers to actually implement these activities in their classroom.

Gallagher, D. K., & Reid, K. (2013, June), Engineering within K-12 from the Teacher’s Perspective: Effectively Integrating Engineering Activities Tied to Educational Standards Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19539

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