Asee peer logo

Systems And Global Engineering: Results Of A Pilot Study For High School Students And Teachers

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

High-School Engineering Education

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1116.1 - 14.1116.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Mercedes McKay Stevens Institute of Technology

author page

Debra Brockway Stevens Institute of Technology

author page

Beth McGrath Stevens Institute of Technology

author page

Henry Harms Stevens Insititue of Technology

author page

Eirik Hole Stevens Institute of Technology

author page

David Janosz NJTEA

Download Paper |

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

Systems and Global Engineering: Results of a Pilot Study for High School Students and Teachers


This three-year project is designed to engage high school classes in New Jersey and elsewhere in a geographically-distributed systems engineering design project that addresses relevant, social challenges of interest to students worldwide. Collaborating with others around the world to develop a solution to an engineering problem, students are introduced to systems-thinking, team work, effective communication and other 21st century workforce skills. This innovative project aims to increase the number of students interested in pursuing engineering as a career and to increase the pool of teachers familiar with engineering design and systems thinking. This paper presents the findings from the first part of the pilot study; results of the fall 2008 implementation of the module Introduction to the Core Concepts of Systems Engineering.


The practice of engineering is increasingly conducted in a complex, globally-distributed environment. Multiple entities must work together on a range of project components and systems that must, themselves, work together in order for the entire system to operate effectively. Stevens Institute of Technology has partnered with the New Jersey Technology Education Association to introduce concepts and approaches of systems and global engineering to high school technology, engineering, and science students. As part of the Systems and Global Engineering (SAGE) project, students in classrooms around the world have the opportunity to design a solution to a complex problem. Students apply science and mathematics principles toward the development of an engineered product or system; utilize state-of-the-art industrial software to collaborate on the design; practice inventive thinking and problem-solving to develop designs; collaborate in class-based and worldwide teams; and develop and present a final product. Students are introduced to a systems-thinking approach that encourages them to see their design effort in a larger context. They have to reflect on the problem they are trying to solve, the resources that are available, and assess the desirable as well as potentially undesirable impacts their design will have in its intended environment. Local as well as worldwide collaboration fosters teamwork, innovation and invention, effective communication, and other 21st century workforce skills.

Over the course of three years, this project will develop, pilot, and disseminate, via face-to-face and online professional development, four high school level curriculum modules that elucidate systems engineering concepts and that assess different approaches to curricula implementation that will enable effective global collaboration among schools and classrooms world-wide. During the first year of the project, these modules were developed and 20 high school teachers were trained to use them in their classes. Currently in its second year, pilot testing of all of the modules is underway and findings from the fall 2008 implementation of the module Introduction to the Core Concepts of Systems Engineering are now available.

McKay, M., & Brockway, D., & McGrath, B., & Harms, H., & Hole, E., & Janosz, D. (2009, June), Systems And Global Engineering: Results Of A Pilot Study For High School Students And Teachers Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4736

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: © 2009 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