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Using Engineering Design Notebooks to Evaluate Student Understanding of Physics Concepts in a Design Challenge

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Engineering Alignment with Core Curriculum (Physics)

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Physics & Physics and Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Pamalee A. Brady California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

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Pamalee Brady is an Associate Professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She teaches courses in structural systems, concrete, steel and wood design as well as structural engineering courses for architecture and construction management students. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal Poly she worked in applied research at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. She is current chair of the Education Committee of the ASCE Technical Council on Forensic Engineering. Her research is in the areas of engineering education, including engineering case studies in undergraduate education.

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Jennifer H. Rushing Central Coast New Tech High

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Jennifer H. Rushing teaches Physics and Computer Science at a Project-Based Learning high school in Nipomo, California called Central Coast New Tech High. She is passionate about engineering education and providing high school students with a safe space to take risks and make mistakes. As the Programming Coach for the NHS Titan Robotics Club, she has also assisted student teams competing in both the VEX Robotics National and World Championships. In addition, she has a sordid past of professional software development and spent a magical summer working for NASA.

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Using Engineering Design Notebooks to Evaluate Student Understanding of Physics Concepts in a Design Challenge (Research to Practice)

This paper documents the application and evaluation of engineering design notebooks to assess student understanding of physics concepts while accomplishing a design challenge. Integration of engineering into science courses is new to many in-service teachers and research has documented science teacher efforts focus more on engineering practices such as teamwork and communication rather than the application of the physics concepts that are important to engineering problem solving. University engineering faculty collaborated with a high school physics instructor to develop engineering notebook guidance and rubrics to encourage greater educational rigor in the engineering design challenge process and thus more explicit demonstration of student physics learning.

Brady, P. A., & Rushing, J. H. (2016, June), Using Engineering Design Notebooks to Evaluate Student Understanding of Physics Concepts in a Design Challenge Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27142

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