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The State of Engineering Integration in K-12 Science Standards: Five Years After NGSS (Fundamental)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NGSS & Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Sarah E. Lopez Utah State University

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Sarah Lopez is a graduate student at Utah State University, pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education and a Masters in Electrical Engineering. She graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2016 with degrees in Computer Engineering and Math Education. Her research interests include spatial ability, robotics education, and the signal processing of biometric data, such as EEG, in engineering education research.

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Wade H. Goodridge Utah State University

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Wade Goodridge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University. He holds dual B.S. degrees in Industrial Technology Education and Civil and Environmental Engineering. His M.S. and Ph.D. are in Civil Engineering. Wade has over 15 years of teaching experience primarily focused at the University level but also including 2+ years of teaching in high schools. Dr. Goodridge’s current research interests include spatial thinking, creativity, effective pedagogy/andragogy in engineering education and professional development for 9-12 grade science faculty designated to teach engineering. His research revolves around developing and validating curricular methods to improve engineering education in informal, traditional, distance, and professional environments. Dr. Goodridge currently teaches courses in “Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in Engineering Education” and “Engineering Mechanics: Statics.” Dr. Goodridge is an engineering councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and serves on ASEE’s project board. Dr. Goodridge actively consults for projects including the development of an online curriculum style guide for Siemens software instruction, development of engineering activities for blind and visually impaired youth, and the implementation and investigation of a framework of engineering content to incorporate into P-12 engineering education.

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Recent initiatives in engineering education have resulted in the integration of engineering concepts directly into K-12 education standards. The most notable example of this is the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), released in 2013. The NGSS not only includes standards focused directly on engineering, but also lists engineering design as one of four primary domains of science.

Since educational standards are defined on a state-by-state basis, the direct impact of the NGSS is limited to the states which choose to adopt them. Beyond this, however, the NGSS have an indirect impact as a concrete and well-known example of engineering integration, and as an inspiration for additional states to reconsider their own standards in the light of NGSS. Work by Tamara Moore and colleagues provides a detailed reference point for the state of engineering in science standards at the time of the NGSS publication, however many science standards have been changed across the country in the five years since the NGSS were first published. Since their release, the NGSS have been adopted by 20 states, and eight others have implemented standards based on the NGSS themselves or the framework behind the NGSS.

This paper provides a summary of the current state of engineering integration in science standards across the nation. It first includes a brief overview of the development NGSS and then describes how the NGSS has influenced state science standards across the country. Timelines of standard adoption for states that adopted the NGSS and states that adopted modified standards based on them are presented. Also, states that have not changed their standards, and states that have published new or updated science standards not based on the NGSS since 2011 will be mentioned for completeness. This paper concludes with recommendations for future research.

Lopez, S. E., & Goodridge, W. H. (2018, June), The State of Engineering Integration in K-12 Science Standards: Five Years After NGSS (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31125

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