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Overview Of Engineering Education Assessment At Preschool 12 Th Grade Levels

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Assessment of K-12 Engineering Programs and Issues

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.960.1 - 13.960.10



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Paper Authors

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Noemi Mendoza Diaz Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Monica Cox Purdue University

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

Overview of Engineering Education Assessment at Preschool-12th Grade Levels Abstract

In the era of No Child Left Behind and continuous well-funded efforts to increase the interest and readiness for engineering of P-12 and pre-college students, several initiatives have been launched. Among the current and most well known are the Infinity Project,; Project Lead the Way; the National Center for Technological Literacy; the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education; and the research-oriented Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE).

Despite their relevance, rigorous empirical studies of these initiatives as well as other outreach efforts are reported scarcely in the literature. More specifically, within available reports, few have performed assessments and evaluations of their activities. This lack of evaluation and published resources hinders the progress of the national P-12 engineering education agenda, since it does not provide the necessary background elements to validate more generalized interventions.

The purpose of this study is to present an overview of assessment components within established U.S. P-12 engineering education initiatives and outreach programs. This overview provides a foundational understanding of the state of these initiatives that in turn would serve as the basis of further inquiry and implementation. The resources of this review are initiatives’ websites, Engineering and Education databases, peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and other search engines.

In this overview, trends and patterns among activities and research have been identified and categorized in clusters. These clusters are presented and discussed under the light of the national engineering education agenda in an effort to influence new directions of practice and research within the P-12 engineering education community.


American public policy has focused attention on the lack of preparedness in science and mathematics at P-12 level students1. It has also brought to attention the disparity between the number of engineers and technicians attracted to American Colleges and Universities and the number of jobs demanded and projected in these areas2-3. In addition, some authors have emphasized the need of providing technological literacy for all citizens through engineering education at the P-12 level4-5.

The academic community has responded to the challenge with a growing number of initiatives and outreach programs. However, the No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB) has brought to the Pre-College public education a system of accountability procedures that are influencing greatly what is been taught in schools6. The challenge seems to be in the alignment between the demands of NCLB with new and unproven engineering education interventions7. Because the Law is rooted in measuring student improvement8, assessment and evaluation are key

Mendoza Diaz, N., & Cox, M. (2008, June), Overview Of Engineering Education Assessment At Preschool 12 Th Grade Levels Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3983

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