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Term Analysis of an Elementary Engineering Design Approach

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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

Focus on Elementary

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1273.1 - 25.1273.9



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Paper Authors


Jeremy V. Ernst Virginia Tech

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Jeremy V. Ernst is an Assistant Professor in the Integrative STEM Education program of the Department of Teaching and Learning at Virginia Tech. He currently teaches graduate courses in STEM education foundations and contemporary issues in Integrative STEM Education. Ernst specializes in research focused on dynamic intervention means for STEM education students categorized as at-risk of dropping out of school. He also has curriculum research and development experiences in technology, engineering, and design education.

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Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Laura J. Bottomley, Director, Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach programs and Teaching Associate Professor, College of Engineering, North Carolina State University, received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1984 and an M.S. in electrical engineering in 1985 from Virginia Tech. She received her Ph D. in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992. Bottomley worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a member of technical staff in Transmission Systems from 1985 to 1987, during which time she worked in ISDN standards, including representing Bell Labs on an ANSI standards committee for physical layer ISDN standards. She received an Exceptional Contribution Award for her work during this time. After receiving her Ph D., Bottomley worked as a faculty member at Duke University and consulted with a number of companies, such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Ericsson. In 1997, she became a faculty member at NC State University and became the Director of Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach. She has taught classes at the university from the freshman level to the graduate level and outside the university from the kindergarten level to the high school level. Bottomley has authored or co-authored more than 40 technical papers, including papers in such diverse journals as the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine and the Hungarian Journal of Telecommunications. She received the President's Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentoring program award in 1999 and individual award in 2007. She was recognized by the IEEE with an EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education in 2009 and by the YWCA with an appointment to the Academy of Women for Science and Technology in 2008. Her program received the WEPAN Outstanding Women in Engineering Program Award in 2009. Her work was featured on the National Science Foundation Discoveries website. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Past Chair of the K-12 and Pre-college Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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Elizabeth A. Parry North Carolina State University

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Elizabeth Parry is an engineer and consultant in K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Curriculum and Professional Development and the Coordinator of K-20 STEM Partnership Development at the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. For the past 15 years, she has worked extensively with students from kindergarten to graduate school, parents, and pre-service and in-service teachers to both educate and excite them about engineering. As the Co-PI and Project Director of a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant, Parry developed a highly effective tiered mentoring model for graduate and undergraduate engineering and education teams, as well as a popular Family STEM event offering for both elementary and middle school communities. Current projects include providing comprehensive professional development and program consulting for multiple K-8 STEM using engineering schools, serving as a regional partner for the Museum of Science, Boston’s Engineering is Elementary curriculum program, and participating in the Family Engineering project. She currently serves as the Chair of the American Society for Engineering Education K-12 and Pre-college Division. Other professional affiliations include the International Technology Education Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association and serving on the Board of Directors for the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education. Prior to joining NCSU, Parry worked in engineering and management positions at IBM Corporation for ten years and co-owned an informal science education business.

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Term Analysis of an Elementary Engineering Design Approach AbstractThe two-year National Institutes of Health funded project, Engineering Design Models inElementary Schools, consisted of a pilot test1 and a field test phase. Both project phasesused engineering design as a fundamental segment of a complete educational day. Thisfully integrated approach combined basic engineering associated processes, basic design-based content, and targeted technological competencies with the inclusive study ofscience, language arts, social studies, and mathematics in an elementary schoolenvironment. The primary separation between the project pilot test and the project fieldtest was the lengh of the term in which student participants were exposed to engineeringdesign as part of a full educational model. Assessment procedures for the field testconsisted of data collected over the course of one academic year (August though May),specifically measuring student learning in design, engineering, and science; studentattitudes toward STEM content; and teacher implementation and effectiveness. Uponanalysis of data, a major finding of the field test investigation was that the term ofexposure and expansion of the curricular treatment period are both influential variablesconcerning outcome. In both project phases (the pilot test and field test) outcomes weremeasured through paired pre-assessment and post-assessment student participant science,engineering, and design cognitive achievement scores. These findings, paired with pilottest outcomes and specific teacher implementation and effectiveness insights obtainedthrough the project has contributed to a data-informed educational model for the deliveryof integrated and authentic engineering, design, and science content that is inprogrammatic alignment with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

Ernst, J. V., & Bottomley, L., & Parry, E. A. (2012, June), Term Analysis of an Elementary Engineering Design Approach Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22030

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