Asee peer logo

Subway Map Visualization Tool for Integrating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering into the Philadelphia and Kenyan High School Chemistry Curricula

Download Paper |


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

25.1205.1 - 25.1205.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jared P. Coyle Drexel University

visit author page

Jared Coyle is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Drexel University. He earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University in 2008. Coyle is a former NSF IGERT Fellow and current NSF GK-12 Fellow who has spent two years bringing modern scientific perspectives to Philadelphia High School for Girls in the School District of Philadelphia. Coyle’s current research includes the study of wearable power generation and display technologies.

visit author page

author page

Adam K. Fontecchio Drexel University

Download Paper |


Subway map visualization tool for integrating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering into the Pennsylvania high school chemistry curriculum.Making the required curriculum interesting and relevant in a K-12 classroom is a challenge forall instructors. There are few, if any, visual instructional materials available that connectclassroom STEM curriculum to real world problems. This work highlights a visual tool andassociated modules for seamless integration of the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE)Grand Challenges of Engineering into the Philadelphia School District’s Chemistry curriculum.A subway/metro (SEPTA) map is designed as a vessel for conveying the cross-correlationbetween the two topics. Each subway line features one of the NAE Engineering GrandChallenges - with each subway line stopping at stations that stand for each unit of the ChemistryCurriculum (see the attached image). Two realities familiar to SEPTA riders are tokens andgraffiti. We capitalize on these in the development of this valuable assessment tool.Throughout the year, students acquire “tokens of knowledge.” These tokens are lessons and/oractivity modules that correlate with one specific intersection of a Grand Challenge andPhiladelphia School District Chemistry curriculum unit. For example, at the intersection ofProviding Access to Clean Water and Unit 1: Matter and Energy, the students perform alaboratory activity for which they are given an open-ended problem. In one such inquiry,students must remove dirt, iron and sulfur from water. This laboratory correlates directly withthe study of homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures, compounds, and base elements, andsolids, liquids and gases. Similar activities are provided for each intersection on the map.The concept of “graffiti” is also used; students are encouraged to write their thoughts, feelingsand responses on the map throughout the year. These records provide qualitative insight intostudent learning and are utilized throughout the class, with greater focus placed on challengeswhere student interest is high, but familiarity is low. Quantitative (Likert based) measures arecurrently being used to assess student interest and knowledge of current engineering challenges.Additionally, integration of student response devices into the metro map activities and studentperformance on benchmark and in-class exams are being used to assess the effectiveness of thisvisual learning tool.

Coyle, J. P., & Fontecchio, A. K. (2012, June), Subway Map Visualization Tool for Integrating the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering into the Philadelphia and Kenyan High School Chemistry Curricula Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21962

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: © 2012 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