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Teacher Productive Resources for Engineering Design Integration in High School Physics Instruction (Fundamental)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Working with Teachers to Improve K-12 Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Katey Shirey University of Maryland, College Park Orcid 16x16

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Katey Shirey graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in physics and sculpture. She received her master’s in secondary science education, also from Virginia. After graduation, Katey spent five years teaching Physics at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA during which she participated as a teacher liaison to the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole.

Katey received her PhD in 2017 at the University of Maryland. Her dissertation was titled, " “How do we make this happen?” Teacher challenges and productive resources for integrating engineering design into high-school physics."

Katey will work with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation to help high school science and math teachers leverage engineering for content learning and student problem solving agency.

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Recent reform efforts to embed engineering design instruction in K-12 science have provided impetus for high school physics teachers to teach engineering design alongside content physics. This study, part of a larger participant observation dissertation study of engineering integration in high school physics, investigated how one such teacher, “Leslie,” integrated engineering design into a projectile motion lesson to address the question: how do a physics teacher’s existing resources, or bits of reasoning, come into play to help her be productive in teaching engineering design in physics class? I found Leslie’s inquiry facilitation resources such as requiring student reasoning, not giving away steps or answers, requiring good data, giving up teacher authority, providing rich contexts, constructivist and social constructivist mindsets, and a growth model of learning assisted her in teaching her first engineering design challenge.

This study suggests that teachers who may feel confused or overburdened with the engineering design reform effort may be able to draw upon their existing resources, especially those affiliated with inquiry instruction, to push through feelings of discomfort during engineering design instruction such as unexpected student divergence, requirements of engineering design processes, and time restrictions. Reform implementation researchers, teacher educators, and engineering professional development providers should also acknowledge the role that resources can may play in reform implementation and encourage teachers to find and calling upon resources they already have that align with engineering integration reform to help them out.

Shirey, K. (2017, June), Teacher Productive Resources for Engineering Design Integration in High School Physics Instruction (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28908

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