Asee peer logo

K 12 And University Collaboration: A Vehicle To Improve Curriculum And Female Enrollment In Engineering And Technology

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Women in Engineering: New Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.798.1 - 8.798.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Thomas Gralinski

author page

Janis Terpenny

Download Paper |

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

Session 2692

K-12 and University Collaboration: A Vehicle to Improve Curriculum and Female Enrollment in Engineering and Technology

Thomas Gralinski1 and Janis P. Terpenny2 Amherst Regional High School1 University of Massachusetts at Amherst2


In 1993, the State of Massachusetts enacted the Educational Reform Act to improve student performance and to increase school accountability. One of the curriculum frameworks of this initiative is titled Science and Technology/Engineering. One of the strands within that framework, Technology/Engineering, outlines standards in seven curriculum areas to be assessed at the high school level on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). This framework is somewhat controversial but supported by numerous surveys focusing on national needs. The movement of traditional Industrial Arts programs to a Technology/Engineering approach in both delivery and content has created a new set of problems with questions raised about the preparedness of existing Technology Education teachers to teach pre-engineering and engineering curricula. In addition there have been questions raised about the lack of female enrollment in engineering and technology classes.

This paper describes the collaboration of Amherst Regional High School (ARHS) with faculty at the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College in addressing issues impinging the success of engineering and technology curricula. More specifically, this collaboration has focused on: reviewing and enhancing high school teacher’s core knowledge of engineering design, the curricular changes made based on this study/research, and research of gender equity issues in engineering and technology curricula. Plans to recruit and retain female students in the technology/engineering area at both secondary and university levels are described; including, cross-institutional projects with an emphasis on assistive technologies and universal design, and a variety of outreach activities between institutions. A structure that provides for on-going collaboration between the local high school and area colleges is also provided.

1. Introduction

The Education Reform Act of 1993 initiated sweeping changes to public education in the state of Massachusetts. In an attempt to improve student performance and increase accountability, the Department of Education developed a set of frameworks to identify learning standards in each academic core. The assessment tools for each framework are being phased in and the first students required to pass the exams are the class of 2003. Trial questions were tested in the spring of 2002 for the Technology/Engineering strand. The Science and Technology/Engineering framework1 includes strands for Earth and Space Science, Life Science (biology), Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics) and Technology/Engineering. This paper will focus on the Technology/Engineering portion of the framework. With the somewhat controversial elevation Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Gralinski, T., & Terpenny, J. (2003, June), K 12 And University Collaboration: A Vehicle To Improve Curriculum And Female Enrollment In Engineering And Technology Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12679

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: © 2003 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