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Interests and Needs of Secondary Science Educators Regarding Professional Development on Engineering Standards (Fundamental)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Professional Development for Teachers

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Sarah E. Lopez Utah State University

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Sarah Lopez is a graduate student at Utah State University, pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education and a Masters in Electrical Engineering. She graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2016 with degrees in Computer Engineering and Math Education. Her research interests include spatial ability, robotics education, and the signal processing of biometric data, such as EEG, in engineering education research.

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Wade H. Goodridge Utah State University

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Wade Goodridge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University. He holds dual B.S. degrees in Industrial Technology Education and Civil and Environmental Engineering. His M.S. and Ph.D. are in Civil Engineering. Wade has over 15 years of teaching experience primarily focused at the University level but also including 2+ years of teaching in high schools. Dr. Goodridge’s current research interests include spatial thinking, creativity, effective pedagogy/andragogy in engineering education and professional development for 9-12 grade science faculty designated to teach engineering. His research revolves around developing and validating curricular methods to improve engineering education in informal, traditional, distance, and professional environments. Dr. Goodridge currently teaches courses in “Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in Engineering Education” and “Engineering Mechanics: Statics.” Dr. Goodridge is an engineering councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and serves on ASEE’s project board. Dr. Goodridge actively consults for projects including the development of an online curriculum style guide for Siemens software instruction, development of engineering activities for blind and visually impaired youth, and the implementation and investigation of a framework of engineering content to incorporate into P-12 engineering education.

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Kurt Henry Becker Utah State University

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Kurt Becker is the current director for the Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER) which examines innovative and effective engineering education practices as well as classroom technologies that advance learning and teaching in engineering. He is also working on National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects exploring engineering design thinking. His areas of research include engineering design thinking, adult learning cognition, engineering education professional development and technical training. He has extensive international experience working on technical training and engineering educaton projects funded by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and U.S. Department of Labor, USAID. Countries where he has worked include Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Thailand. In addition, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses for the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University.

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Many secondary-level science educators across America are now or will soon be required to address engineering curriculum in their science courses. This is in response to calls from the National Research Council and others to increase engineering exposure in K-12 settings. Science teachers in the 18 states that have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards are already expected to address the engineering themes and concepts that have been integrated into these standards. Though science educators may now be expected to teach engineering, few have any training in the field, and it is unknown whether or not they are already prepared to provide effective engineering instruction. Recent survey work in the state of Utah has investigated science teachers' perceptions of their preparedness to teach engineering. The results of this study indicate a spectrum of indicated preparedness. Building and extending upon that work, this research looks to investigate secondary science educators’ self-assessment of their preparedness to teach engineering. A new survey was developed to assess science educators’ confidence in integrating engineering content knowledge into their science classes. Specifically, the survey includes questions about confidence in basic engineering content knowledge areas from Statics, Strength of Materials, and Material Science. The survey also assessed the benefit educators thought professional development in engineering would provide to them as they develop engineering content for their classes. Completed survey responses were received from 338 secondary science teachers across 20 states, and analysis has been started to determine respondents’ readiness to address engineering content and their desire to participate in related professional development. The data indicate relatively low confidence in engineering content, but a widespread desire for professional development in this area.

Lopez, S. E., & Goodridge, W. H., & Becker, K. H. (2018, June), Interests and Needs of Secondary Science Educators Regarding Professional Development on Engineering Standards (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30702

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