Asee peer logo

Investigating Assessment Methods for Informal Environmental Engineering Education Modules for K-12 Students, Specifically Focusing on Sustainability

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.818.1 - 24.818.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Rebecca Arielle Citrin Lafayette College

visit author page

Rebecca Citrin is a senior Civil and Environmental Engineering student at Lafayette College with a strong interest in K – 12 Engineering Education. She is currently working with Lafayette College and North Carolina State University faculty members on an NSF funded education project. Rebecca has conducted research on various informal K – 12 engineering education projects and has worked on developing assessment methods for these projects. Rebecca has organized various student events such as the Lafayette College Engineering Brain Bowl and the Lafayette College STEM Camp, to both promote engineering and science education for K – 12 students, as well as assess the learning outcomes of these programs.

visit author page


Arthur D. Kney Lafayette College

visit author page

Arthur D. Kney received his doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) in Environmental Engineering from Lehigh University in 1999 and his professional engineering license in 2007. He is currently serving as an Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lafayette College.

Throughout Kney’s career he has been active in the community, at the local, state and national level. He has served as chair of the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association (PWEA) research committee, chair of the Bethlehem Environmental Advisory Committee, vice president of Lehigh Valley Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), secretary of ASCE/Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Water Supply Engineering Committee and been a member of the AWWA/ASCE WTP Design 4th Edition Steering Committee. He currently serves on the states PWEA Research Committee and Water Works Operators’ Association of Pennsylvania (WWOAP) scholarship committee, and locally on the Bethlehem Backyards for Wildlife committee, the Bushkill Stream Conservancy board, the Wildlands Conservancy's Education Advisory Team as well as a number of Lafayette College committees. Recognition for his work have been provided through a number of awards; most recently the PA Water Environmental Association (PWEA) 2010 Professional Research Award, 2010 Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award; 2010 Aaron O. Hoff Award,. and the 2010 Spring Cove School District Red Sneaker Award.

Kney’s areas of interests include water/wastewater treatment (including industrial wastewater treatment), issues of PPCPs in water and wastewater and sustainable engineering focusing on urban sprawl and its environmental effects on watersheds. Most recently he has begun to explore methods to integrate undergraduate and K-12 education in innovative ways.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Development of Assessment Methods for Informal Environmental Engineering Education Modules for K-12 Students (Hands-on Sustainability Session)The goal of informal environmental engineering education practices, specifically focusing onsustainability, is to expose K-12 students to critical environmental issues which will ultimatelyimpact society’s future economic, social-cultural and ecological dimensions. By exposingstudents to the concept of sustainability, which is not formally taught in standard schoolcurricula, students will be more knowledgeable of one of the most pressing concerns facing ourplanet’s future: how to sustainably use our resources now, in order to ensure that futuregenerations will have access to these same resources. Sustainability-themed environmentalengineering modules are developed to go beyond what is taught in a typical classroom settingand build off of standardized curricula. Students should be able to take the core science conceptscommunicated in school, and apply these concepts to the ideas presented in the sustainability-focused activities. The framework used to develop informal sustainability modules is based oncreating interactive, hands-on experiences, which allow students to better grasp and connect tothe topics presented.In order to assess the sustainability modules, and prove that students are grasping the intendedlearning outcomes, assessment tools have been established. Assessment tools are utilized toquantitatively and qualitatively measure what students were able to learn about sustainability,through interaction with a specific environmental engineering module. Assessment methodsinclude multiple choice and open ended questions, as well as personal meaning maps. The goalsof the modules are not only to teach specific facts or definitions relating to the concept ofsustainability, but to also introduce students to the broader concept of sustainability throughmore focused examples. Intended learner outcomes include an increased cognizance of theenvironment and sustainability, identification of how an individual can change their behavior tolive more sustainability, as well as the identification of how society can change present behaviorsto help maintain the planet’s limited supply of resources for future generations.

Citrin, R. A., & Kney, A. D. (2014, June), Investigating Assessment Methods for Informal Environmental Engineering Education Modules for K-12 Students, Specifically Focusing on Sustainability Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20710

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: © 2014 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