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The Impact of Professional Development on Teachers Integrating Engineering into Science and Mathematics Classroom

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1469.1 - 22.1469.17



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Paper Authors


Hui-Hui Wang University of Minnesota

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Hui-Hui Wang is a graduate student in Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are across both non-formal and formal setting. Her research primary relates to inquiry-based instruction and STEM integration in science education. She is also interested in developing STEM curriculum for K-12 science teachers.

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Tamara J Moore University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Orcid 16x16

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Tamara J. Moore is the co-director of the University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center and an assistant professor of mathematics and engineering education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research is centered on the integration of STEM concepts in K-12 and higher education mathematics and engineering classrooms. Her research agenda focuses on models and modeling as a curricular approach and working with educators to shift their expectations and instructional practice to facilitate effective STEM integration.

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Gillian Roehrig University of Minnesota Orcid 16x16


Mi Sun Park University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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I am a Mathematics education graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I earned my B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics in South Korea. My research interests include developing students' collaborative learning and problem solving skill. My interests are also in creating a new curriculum and producing creative teachers.

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The Impact of Professional Development on Teachers Integrating Engineering into Science and Mathematics ClassroomEducators are mobilizing at the national and state level to meet the need to increase students’ interest andachievement in STEM. Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, and Massachusetts have recently legislated efforts toimprove STEM education through the addition of engineering standards to the existing science standardsin order to support improving quality in K-12 STEM education as well as increase the pathways forstudents to pursue STEM degrees and careers. Integration of engineering into science and mathematicsrequires a shift in current educational practices. The majority of K-12 science teachers lack knowledgeand experience of engineering and engineering education and how to treat STEM teaching as aninterdisciplinary endeavor. Therefore, in order to provide the quality and meaningful educational reformin both science and mathematics education, training teachers on the implementation of these standards isa greater need now more than ever. The purpose of this research is to understand and identify the way inwhich science and mathematics teachers that participated in the STEM integration teacher professionaldevelopment program implement engineering standards in their classroom. The questions that guide thisresearch are as follows: 1) What are teachers’ understandings of engineering? and 2) How do teacherspractice integrating engineering into their science and mathematic teaching?Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics professional development program (STEM PD) wasa five day training that spread throughout the 2009-2010 academic year, with four 1-hour ProfessionalLearning Community (PLC) sessions between each training day. The participants in the STEM PD weremiddle and high school teachers. Overall, the goal for the STEM professional development program wasto help teachers develop STEM contexts in order to teach mathematics and science more effectively andhelp teacher develop deeper understanding of the subjects they teach through the lens of STEMintegration. The data collection of STEM PD involved both formative and summative data collection.The summative data collection focused on measuring teachers’ knowledge of the process of science andengineering content in the modules. The summative data collection included teachers’ self-efficacy ofteaching science/mathematics within engineering context survey, pre and post engineering concept map,and pre and post engineering design cycle survey. The formative data include STEM lesson plans andSTEM activity posters. The following is a sample of some of the data and results from our study.A Paired Samples T-test was conducted to compare teachers’ self-efficacy of teachingscience/mathematics and underlying perceptions of STEM activities impacted on teachers’implementation of science/ mathematics teaching and student learning. Five items showed significantlyimprovement in pre- and post-test. As for the pre and post engineering design cycle, the result showedsignificant improvement. Participants had clearer ideas what elements an engineer uses to solveproblems (Pre-test: M=1.47, SD=0.573, Post-test: M=2.127, SD=0.579; t(54)=-7.216, p<.001) after theSTEM PD.Overall, after participated in the STEM PD, the teachers increase their confidence level of integratingengineering context into their science/mathematics teaching. Teachers also believed that integratingengineering helps they teach science/mathematics in a more effective way and can enhance theirunderstanding of how scientific/mathematics knowledge is developed.  This indicates that teachersconsider integrating engineering into their lesson plans very valuable to their science/mathematicsteaching.

Wang, H., & Moore, T. J., & Roehrig, G., & Park, M. S. (2011, June), The Impact of Professional Development on Teachers Integrating Engineering into Science and Mathematics Classroom Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18788

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