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Learning Common Core Math Concepts with WISEngineering

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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 Exchange II

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.881.1 - 25.881.10



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Paper Authors


Crystal Jean DeJaegher University of Virginia

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Crystal J. DeJaegher is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Instructional Science and Technology within the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education studying under Dr. Jennie Chiu. She holds a M.S. in secondary education from Indiana University. Experiences as a high school teacher have informed her research interests with a focus on STEM education and using technology to improve learner outcomes.

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Jennifer L. Chiu University of Virginia

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M. David Burghardt Hofstra University


Deborah Hecht City University of New York

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Center for Advanced Study in Education, CUNY Graduate Center

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Peter Thomas Malcolm University of Virginia, Charlottesville

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Peter T. Malcolm,, is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia (UVA), Charlottesville. His primary interest is in developing software to help elementary and middle school students collaborate to understand and interact with STEM concepts.

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Edward Pan University of Virginia

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Learning Common Core Math Concepts with WISEngineering WISEngineering is an innovative, free online learning environment that supports studentsthrough engineering design projects designed to improve science, technology, engineering, andmath (STEM) learning in middle and high school classes. WISEngineering builds from both aninformed engineering design pedagogy (Burghardt, 2011) and the knowledge integrationlearning framework (Linn & Eylon, 2006) as well as the NSF-funded Web-based Inquiry ScienceEnvironment (WISE; Slotta & Linn, 2009). WISEngineering uses engineering design modules tofacilitate engineering habits of mind such as systems thinking, creativity, optimism, collaborationas well as standard-based mathematics and science concepts. In these modules, students useCAD technologies and digital fabrication to create, build, and refine their designs. Theenvironment leverages technologies such as an electronic design journal, portfolio and “designwall” that enables students to create, share, critique, and communicate with their peers. Theseengineering design projects give students a context and real-life application for learning mathand science concepts. The Community Challenge project sequence engages 7th grade students in the design oftheir local community. The first two-week project guides students through the design of acommunity building, the second project involves students in designing a community garden, andthe third project engages students in designing windmill and solar panel systems to help powertheir building and garden. This presentation focuses on the first project in the sequence, theCommunity Building project. Students are given volume and surface area constraints andspecifications for their building design. Based on these parameters, students must learn and applyseveral Common Core Mathematical Standards of Geometry, Ratios and ProportionalRelationships, and Expressions and Equations. Once students have their initial design, theycreate and refine models using digital fabrication technologies (Bull et al., 2010). TheCommunity Building project leverages the success of the Skyline Design project (Burghardt,2011) that has demonstrated success improving students’ understanding of standards-based mathconceptsThis presentation will share preliminary results from pilot runs with around 200 7th grade low-performing students. Pretest, posttest, and embedded assessments as well as targeted interviewswill assess learner outcomes in mathematical understanding, engineering habits of mind, andinterest in STEM subjects.

DeJaegher, C. J., & Chiu, J. L., & Burghardt, M. D., & Hecht, D., & Malcolm, P. T., & Pan, E. (2012, June), Learning Common Core Math Concepts with WISEngineering Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21638

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