Asee peer logo

Evidence of Students’ Engineering Learning in an Elementary Classroom

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.698.1 - 26.698.20



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kristina Maruyama Tank Iowa State University

visit author page

Kristina M. Tank is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Iowa State University. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in science education for elementary education majors. As a former elementary teacher, her research and teaching interests are centered around improving elementary students’ science and engineering learning and increasing teachers’ use of effective STEM instruction in the elementary grades. With the increased emphasis on improved teaching and learning of STEM disciplines in K-12 classrooms, Tank examines how to better support and prepare pre-service and in-service teachers to meet the challenge of integrating STEM disciplines in a manner that supports teaching and learning across multiple disciplines. More recently, her research has focused on using literacy to support scientific inquiry, engineering design, and STEM integration.

visit author page


Tamara J Moore Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Tamara J. Moore, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and Director of STEM Integration in the INSPIRE Institute at Purdue University. Dr. Moore’s research is centered on the integration of STEM concepts in K-12 and postsecondary classrooms in order to help students make connections among the STEM disciplines and achieve deep understanding. Her work focuses on defining STEM integration and investigating its power for student learning. Tamara Moore received an NSF Early CAREER award in 2010 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012.

visit author page


Bunmi Babajide Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Bunmi Babajide is a PhD student at Purdue University in the college of Engineering. She obtained her Undergraduate and Masters in Electrical Engineering and currently interested in research topics in curriculum design for K-12 and professional engineering environments.

visit author page


Anastasia Marie Rynearson Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Anastasia Rynearson is a Purdue Doctoral Fellow pursuing a degree in Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received a B.S. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her teaching experience includes outreach activities at various age levels as well as a position as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kanazawa Technical College. Her current research interests focus on early P-12 engineering education and identity development.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Evidence of Students’ Engineering Learning in an Elementary Classroom  Over the past decade there has been an increased emphasis on improving the teaching andlearning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.With the publication of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, whichcall for the integration of science and engineering concepts and practices in K-12classrooms, there has also been an increased emphasis on engineering education at the K-12 level. However, given that engineering integration at the elementary level is stillrelatively recent, there is a need for research in the area of engineering education toexamine how these national documents and policies emphasizing the integration ofengineering are being translated into classroom practice.  This research is part of a larger project that seeks to understand and identify the ways inwhich teachers implement engineering into their classrooms. More specifically, this studyfocuses on examining student learning of engineering design practices and thedevelopment of engineering thinking skills as a result of teacher implementation of anintegrated STEM curriculum that uses engineering design to facilitate science,mathematics, and engineering learning. The research question is: What evidence ofstudents’ engineering learning is present during the implementation of an elementaryengineering unit?  This study employs a case study methodology, which allows for in-depth exploration ofthe implementation of an integrated STEM curriculum in a classroom setting through acontent analysis of student artifact and classroom video. We use the Framework forQuality K-12 Engineering Education, with a particular focus on process of design, STEMcontent, engineering thinking, teamwork, communication, as a lens for analyzing theengineering learning and thinking observed during this elementary STEM unit.  Preliminary results shed light on the types of evidence that can be used to identify studentlearning and thinking in engineering, including young students working in teamseffectively and pedagogical strategies that provide gains in STEM learning and self-efficacy. This research aims to develop an understanding of student learning outcomes inengineering as teachers implement STEM integration curricular units in their elementaryclassrooms. As more schools and teachers are integrating engineering and STEM intotheir classrooms instruction, it will be important for teacher educators and educationalresearchers to gain a better understanding of what factors are influencing this integrationof engineering and what supports can be provided to facilitate successful teaching andlearning at the elementary level.    

Tank, K. M., & Moore, T. J., & Babajide, B., & Rynearson, A. M. (2015, June), Evidence of Students’ Engineering Learning in an Elementary Classroom Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24035

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: © 2015 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