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Inside The Classroom: Challenges To Teaching Engineering Design In High School

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering in High Schools

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

19

Page Numbers

12.902.1 - 12.902.19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1550

Download Count

33

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Paper Authors

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Sibel Uysal Arizona State University

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Sibel Uysal is a Ph.D. student in Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU. She earned her MA degree in Science Education at University of Missouri Columbia. Her BS degree is in Biology. Her principle research areas are inquiry-based learning and science and the equity in science education. She works on the project about investigating the efficiency of different type of induction programs on the development of beginning science teachers.

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Sharon Kurpius-Robinson Arizona State University

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Sharon E. Kurpius Robinson is a professor of Counseling Psychology. She has received numerous national grants examining undergraduates’ academic persistence and the academic success of talented adolescent girls. She was recently named a “Multicultural Scholar” by the NACAC for her work on the retention of racial/ethnic minority students in higher education.

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Dale Baker Arizona State University

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Dale R. Baker is a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Arizona State University and was the Co-Editor of The Journal of Research in Science Teaching. She teaches courses in science curricula, teaching and learning, and assessment courses with an emphasis on constructivist theory and issues of equity. Her research focuses on issues of gender, science, and science teaching. She has won two awards for her research in these areas. She was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004.

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University

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STEPHEN J. KRAUSE is Professor and Associate Chair of the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department. He teaches courses in general materials engineering, polymer science, characterization of materials, and materials selection and design. He conducts research in innovative education in engineering, including a Materials Concept Inventory, and also in adapting design, engineering and technology concepts to K-12 education. He is currently working on an NSF sponsored MSP developing courses for high school teachers connecting math, science and engineering.

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Chell Roberts Arizona State University

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Chell A. Roberts is an associate professor and Director of Engineering at Arizona State University Polytechnic. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech in 1991. He has a MS in Industrial Engineering and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Utah. He is a member of the board of directors for the Society for Computer Simulation International and has been actively involved in developing undergraduate engineering design curriculum.

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

Inside the Classroom: Challenges to Teaching Engineering Design in High School

Abstract

The advances in engineering, particularly over the past few decades, have transformed the daily lives of people. This, in turn, has captured the attention of students at all grade levels. The fascination with technology has generated increased interest among students at an early age, and motivated some to study the field of engineering. It is not too early to start building the foundation for engineering education at the high school level where curricula are being modified to increase students’ familiarity with engineering. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the experiences of a high school teacher who developed an innovative engineering program and also to prepare a rubric to guide future teachers who want to teach engineering in their classrooms. An introductory engineering course was offered as an elective and taught by a mathematics teacher who was also an engineer with prior industry experience. It was composed of two one-semester components with hands-on design activities. Eighty-six male and four female students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 participated. The data was collected through observations and videotapes of the classes. NVivo qualitative research analysis software was used to code the observation notes and to reveal patterns in the data. At the end of this research project, even though the instructor had limited resources, he was able to meet many of the challenges that he faced in creating and implementing the new engineering program. However he did not sustain the students’ interest with several hands-on design activities, such as building an airplane, a tower, a bridge, guest speakers, field trips, readings about the design process, and team presentations, Mr. Q. was not able to pay enough attention to some aspects of the class which inhibited the success of the program. For example, the video presentations or activities were selected to reflect the interests of the students, as indicated by student questions or discussions. Gender and minority interests were not explicitly taken into consideration. For example, most videos focused on disasters resulting from engineering mishaps videos that might show the relevance of engineering to society. Furthermore, difficulties were encountered because of grade level differences in maturity, or mathematics and science backgrounds. This was because criteria and pre-requisites were not established for activities, and did not provide enough explanation about the roles of group members.

Introduction

Modern day engineering has facilitated the expansion of student interests in many and varied ways. Because technology is continuously evolving, a new generation of students has been intrigued and captivated by the ever-changing technologies that have introduced computers, instant messaging, information acquisition, information sharing, and web-based computer games –to mention only a few practical implementations of modern technology. All these developments show that engineering education is important for students and such an educational program would support an informed citizenry, meet the needs of an expanding, yet highly specialized workforce, and lead to responsible innovations for the world we live in. Engineering education should be an integral part of the overall educational program offered to students in K-12 for a variety of reasons. First, technology is changing rapidly and this requires that students become

Uysal, S., & Kurpius-Robinson, S., & Baker, D., & Krause, S., & Roberts, C. (2007, June), Inside The Classroom: Challenges To Teaching Engineering Design In High School Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1550

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: © 2007 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