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Work in Progress: Designing an Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE-HS)

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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

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1701.1 - 22.1701.11



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Paper Authors


Shamsnaz Virani University of Texas, El Paso Orcid 16x16

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Shamsnaz Virani is a Research Assistant Professor in the Research Institute of Manufacturing Engineering Systems (RIMES) at The University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP). She has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Pune, India, a Masters in Human Factors Engineering from Wright State University, Dayton, OH and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The University of Alabama at Huntsville. She has a Six-Sigma Green belt and is a Lean Certified Professional. Before coming to UTEP, she was a visiting assistant professor at The University of Alabama at Huntsville, where she taught undergraduate courses in industrial and systems engineering and served as the faculty advisor for the Institute of Industrial Engineering local student chapter. At RIMES, she is involved in developing graduate courses and exploring research opportunities in systems engineering. She has written research proposals to National Science Foundation, Locked Martin Aeronautical, Raytheon Energy Systems, Texas Higher Education Board, and Texas High School Project. She conducts research with a local charter high school assessing the attitudinal changes in high school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals and conferences in Software Engineering, Engineering Education and Engineering Management. She routinely reviews journal and conference papers, and NSF proposals. Her current research areas include semantic integration of heterogeneous models, shared team mental models, and engineering education.

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Iris B. Burnham Burnham Wood Charter School District

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Iris B.Burnham is the Founder and President of the El Paso Education Initiative, Inc., a non profit organization dedicated to reforming education. It serves as the charter holder of the Burnham Wood Charter School Dsitrict, including the Da Vinci School for Science & the Arts,one of the first STEM schools in Texas. Ms. Burnham serves as Superintendent.

She is a life long educator, curriculum developer and implementer of innovative instructional programs for students of all ages. She has taught English at the University of Texas, El Paso, and in high schools in New York and California public schools. Ms. Burnahm is founder of the School for Educational Enrichment, a private school that is known for customiing instructions for different learning styles.

As Founder and Board Member of the Texas
Alliance of Accredited Private Schools, Ms. Burnham has consulted with and accredited dozens of private schools throughout the Texas.

She holds an M.A. from California State University
in Los Angeles and a B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

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Virgilio Gonzalez University of Texas, El Paso Orcid 16x16

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Undergraduate Program Director in the University of Texas, El Paso, ECE department.

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Miroslava Barua University of Texas, El Paso


Elaine Fredericksen, Ph.D. University of Texas, El Paso

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Elaine Fredericksen holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition Studies from the University of Alabama. She works as Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her research interests include pedagogy for minority students, the rhetoric of race and ethnicity, and crosscultural and intercultural rhetoric. She has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and authored a book: A New World of Writers: Teaching Writing in a Diverse Society.

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Sally J. Andrade Andrade & Associates, Inc., El Paso, TX

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Andrade heads a specialized consulting firm that provides technical assistance to community-based organizations and other non-profit entities to increase the empowerment of low-income families and communities. She is also a Senior Research Associate of Excelencia in Education, Washington, D.C., focused on the academic success of Latino college students. A former administrator at The University of Texas at El Paso responsible for the institutional effectiveness system, Andrade earlier served as Director of Research and Planning for the state's community college system at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Her Ph.D. in Community Psychology is from The University of Texas at Austin.

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Work in Progress: Designing an Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE-HS)The projected job growth for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) professionalsis expected to be 22% as reported by the Occupational Outlook quarterly in spring 2007.According to the National Science Foundation, only about 17 percent of U.S. college graduatesearned a degree in subjects related to STEM; this falls well below the world average of 26percent. In order to fulfill this projected need, state governments have initiated STEM educationprograms in high schools across the country. The challenge faced by high school administratorsand teachers is not only to develop a new set of modules for engineering, but also to imbedinnovative pedagogy while implementing them. Moreover, they are faced with the task ofidentifying the scope and sequence of engineering education at a high school level.Traditionally, high school students were introduced to engineering during summer camps at acollege of engineering. The summer camp or out-reach activities were university developed anddelivered. Seldom did they last more than a few weeks. Exemplary vendor-sold curricula such asProject Lead the Way and Infinity provided the scope and sequence for teaching engineering inhigh school. They also assisted schools in the form of training, teaching materials, and websupport. Federal agencies such as NSF and ASEE have developed engineering educationwebsites such as,, and that are not utilized by thevendor-sold curricula. Expense and investment in teacher implementation training time remainimportant factors in implementing vendor- sold curricula.The ICE-HS presents a step-by -step methodology for developing a four- year high schoolengineering curriculum framework based on backward design and systems thinking approaches.The ICE-HS is structured around two major objectives: attracting the high school students toSTEM and providing a flexible engineering foundation. It does not prescribe specific modulesbut offers integration with the other disciplines such as language arts, social studies andtraditional science courses. The ICE-HS is currently being piloted in a charter high school, DaVinci School for Science and the Arts. The ICE-HS uses the modules developed by severalsources such as NSF and ASEE and provides a framework that allows the school to customize itsdelivery for appropriate grades and levels. The main contributions of this ICE-HS are the definedscope and sequence, and the outcomes and rubrics that utilize an array of publicly availableresources for teaching engineering throughout the high school.

Virani, S., & Burnham, I. B., & Gonzalez, V., & Barua, M., & Ph.D., E. F., & Andrade, S. J. (2011, June), Work in Progress: Designing an Innovative Curriculum for Engineering in High School (ICE-HS) Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18773

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