Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
Engineering design as “the glue” to integrate science, mathematics, and computational thinking standards-based content is becoming more prevalent in educating K-12 students. In a simplistic view of engineering design, engineers iterate between understanding the problem and developing a solution to the problem. The need to deeply understand the problem as part of the process of developing solutions is called problem scoping and framing. Problem scoping affects the way a problem is investigated, analyzed, and eventually solved; therefore, understanding how a problem is approached is an extremely important step in understanding how the solutions are developed. There is some research regarding pre-college problem scoping techniques; however, there is a gap in knowledge with respect to primary students. The purpose of this research is to explore problem scoping and framing during integrated science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computational thinking (STEM+C) curricular units. Our research question is: What are the patterns of K-2 student talk and action when participating in problem scoping activities from a STEM+C integration curricula?
This study involved three units from an integrated literacy and STEM+C curricula that were developed for use in K-2 classrooms. There are four main components that set this curriculum apart from other commonly-implemented engineering lessons: 1) engineering design as the interdisciplinary glue, 2) engineering design to provide opportunities for student participation in problem scoping and framing as well as solution development, 3) realistic engineering contexts to promote student engagement, 4) high-quality literature to facilitate meaningful connections and 5) instruction of specific STEM+C content within an integrated approach.
This study explores the problem scoping patterns in students in grades K-2 after the integrated curricula was implemented in classrooms. Using purposeful sampling, data from six different classrooms out of 17 was selected to be analyzed. Video and audio data of the interactions between the teacher and students as well as among multiple students was coded based on patterns relating to a previously developed problem scoping framework that includes three components: naming, setting the context, reflecting.
When looking at the patterns around problem scoping that were observed during the implementation of these integrated STEM+C lessons, there was evidence of student talk and action related to problem scoping within all three components of the framework: naming, setting the context, reflecting. The results also identified differences within the three problem scoping components across the various grade levels. For example, students in 2nd grade could individually name or identify the problem that was being solved, while students in Kindergarten and 1st grade needed to build off each others’ responses along with teacher support before grasping the problem that was being solved.
This paper will show that students in grades K-2 are able to engage in engineering practices, specifically problem scoping and framing. Discussion of developmentally appropriate problem scoping practices that facilitate K-2 student learning will be included.
Haluschak, E. M., & Stevens, M. L., & Moore, T. J., & Tank, K. M., & Cardella, M. E., & Hynes, M. M., & Gajdzik, E., & Lopez-Parra, R. D. (2018, June), Initial Problem Scoping in K-2 Classrooms (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30663
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