Asee peer logo

The Development And Operation Of Adventure Engineering, A K 12 Curriculum Development Program

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Pre-College Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1135.1 - 7.1135.8

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Michael Mooney

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu

Session 3453 The Development and Operation of Adventure Engineering, A K-12 Curriculum Development Program

M.A. Mooney, T. Laubach, S. Nicholas University of Oklahoma, 202 W. Boyd, Rm 334, Norman OK 73019

Introduction The need for effective K-12 engineering outreach is apparent. The burgeoning demand for a technical workforce far outpaces the supply currently graduated. According to the National Science Foundation, U.S. colleges awarded 37 percent fewer degrees in computer science, 24 percent fewer in math, 16 percent fewer in engineering and 2 percent fewer in physical sciences in 1998 compared to 1988. Enrollment in engineering schools has also steadily decreased since 1985. 1 Coupled with the well-chronicled math and science deficiencies in primary and secondary school levels, 2,3 this has prompted numerous entities to develop and funding agencies to finance K-12 engineering outreach programs. The Adventure Engineering program addresses some of the critical issues associated with these trends by encouraging more students to consider technical careers at the time when they are likely to be exploring possible career paths, the 5 th through 9th middle grade years.

Adventure Engineering (AE), launched in 1999 with funding from the National Science Foundation, is a middle grade science and math outreach initiative aimed at students who without the benefit of a positive mathematics and/or science applications experience will not consider technical careers in mathematics, science, and engineering. AE strives to (1) improve interest in and attitudes towards mathematics, science and engineering; (2) improve concept learning in science and math; and (3) provide a hands-on, minds-on, meaningful and enjoyable engineering experience. The AE program involves the development and implementation of single day to four-week adventure-driven engineering-based curricula for grade 5 through 9 science and/or math classes. Given a designated time period and concepts identified in national math and science standards, the AE team develops an adventure-based scenario filled with obstacles that require the learning and application of the desired science and/or math concepts. The curricula are inquiry-based and open ended; activities are designed to facilitate concept understanding and immerse students in the engineering design experience. The AE curriculum units are designed to more effectively teach required math and/or science concepts in the same amount of time traditionally devoted to these concepts. Further, the curriculum units are specifically developed for existing middle grade math or science classes to reach all students during the regular school day and to enable adoption in any school without modifications to the infrastructure, e.g., creation of new classes, after school program, etc. This paper chronicles the curriculum development process used by the AE program, focusing on the project participants, effective curriculum characteristics, and lessons

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

Main Menu

Mooney, M. (2002, June), The Development And Operation Of Adventure Engineering, A K 12 Curriculum Development Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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: © 2002 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