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Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE-HS): Status Update

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Curriculum Development

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.782.1 - 25.782.13



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Paper Authors


Shamsnaz Virani Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley Orcid 16x16

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Shamsnaz S. Virani, Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley, earned her industrial and systems engineering from the University of Alabama, Huntsville. She also holds a M.S. in human factors engineering from Wright State University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from The University of Pune, India. Prior to joining Penn State, Virani worked with the Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems at the University of Texas, El Paso. She was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Virani’s research interests include engineering education, empirical software quality, and cognitive perspectives of systems engineering teams. She teaches decision and risk analysis, software systems architecture, and systems integration, verification, and validation. She is a member of ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) and IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers).

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Iris B. Burnham Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts

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Iris B. Burnham is the Founder and Superintendent of the Burnham Wood Charter School District in El Paso, Texas. The Da Vinci School serves grades 5-12 and has been designated an Innovative STEM Academy by the Texas Education Agency. Burnham 's career includes more than 30 years of teaching, designing curriculum and implementation of education programs for students of all ages including new teachers.

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Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE‐HS)—Status Update The ICE‐HS was developed to address the need to define an engineering curriculum in a charter high school. The research team reviewed several vendor prescribed curricula such as project lead the way and infinity, and digital libraries funded by NSF and ASEE such as, and The inflexibility of vendor sold curricula and lack of structure with the digital libraries posed some challenges for teaching engineering in high school. The school needed some customization of available curricula for implementing a discrete engineering course The ICE‐HS was thus developed to address this need. The ICE‐HS presents a step‐by ‐step methodology for developing a four‐ year high school engineering curriculum framework based on backward design and systems thinking approaches. The ICE‐HS is structured around two major objectives: attracting the high school students to STEM and providing a flexible engineering foundation. It does not prescribe specific modules but offers integration with the other disciplines such as language/arts and traditional science courses. The ICE‐HS uses digital libraries and vendor sold curricula providing a framework that allows the school to customize its delivery for appropriate grades and levels. The ICE‐HS is currently being piloted in a charter high school, Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts. This paper presents the ICE‐HS approach, syllabus of each of the courses developed using ICE‐HS, and initial data indicating positive impact on student learning .  

Virani, S., & Burnham, I. B. (2012, June), Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE-HS): Status Update Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21539

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