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Pre-service Teachers' Modeling as a Way of Thinking in Engineering Design

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Pre-Service Development Initiatives

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.972.1 - 23.972.21



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Paper Authors


Matthew D. Lammi North Carolina State University

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Dr. Lammi is an assistant professor in the Department of STEM Education.

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Cameron Denson North Carolina State University

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Realizing Engineering Design through Modeling ArtifactsThe case for infusing engineering - specifically engineering design - into K-12 settingshas been made by educators and policy makers. Yet determining how engineering designwill be operationalized in K-12 settings is still a subject of great contention. Onepedagogical approach to assist not only the student, but the teacher as well, inengineering design is the focus on modeling artifacts. Modeling artifacts are the outputsgenerated throughout the engineering design process. We discuss in this paper how pre-service teachers approached and engaged in engineering design through the analysis ofthe modeling artifacts they produced.The case studied in this research included 40 pre-service teachers in a Technology,Engineering, & Design (TDE) Education program. Although the students had experiencein design and graphic communications, they had not previously engaged in engineeringdesign. While in teams of three, the students were tasked with designing an engineeringsolution to an assistive technology problem. Data were collected in multiple formats suchas student-generated artifacts, reflective interviews, and weekly journal entries. Thedifferent modeling artifacts produced were conceptual, graphical, mathematical, andworking. The data analysis was performed simultaneously with the data collection. Thisinvolved recurring analysis and triangulation of the different sources of data as well astheir emerging results. These analyses yielded new themes and phenomena aroundengineering design.The results suggest that pre-service teachers are able to engage in engineering design.The students were readily able to produce conceptual, graphical, and working models.However, the students struggled to produce mathematical models and make designdecisions. The students often expressed apprehension in connecting the abstract to theconcrete. There was also a strong propensity on the part of the students to approach theproject as a technician without considering engineering design methods. Nevertheless,when the students were encouraged to reflect and justify their designs, they exhibitedengineering design behavior and thinking. This study provides insight into an emergentpedagogical approach for engaging high school students in engineering design. The studyalso highlights potential challenges in-service teachers may face when endeavoring tointroduce engineering design in their classroom.

Lammi, M. D., & Denson, C. (2013, June), Pre-service Teachers' Modeling as a Way of Thinking in Engineering Design Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22357

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