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Work in Progress: How Next-generation Engineering Design Standards are Interpreted and Applied by Various Stakeholders

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1753.1 - 26.1753.15



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Paper Authors


John Ernzen Arizona State University

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John Ernzen is a graduate student studying Education Policy and Evaluation at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in biomedical engineering from the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. His research interests include factors that affect perception and retention within engineering communities as well as the standards involved in designing engineering curricula. He is currently conducting research on an NSF project led by Dr. Stephen Krause, focused on the factors that promote persistence and success for undergraduate engineering students.

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Eugene Judson Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Eugene Judson is an Associate Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His past experiences include having been a middle school science teacher, Director of Academic and Instructional Support for the Arizona Department of Education, a research scientist for the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET), and an evaluator for several NSF projects. He is a co-developer of the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). His work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals such as Science Education and the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

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Ying-Chih Chen Arizona State University

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Ying-Chih Chen is an assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Preparation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. His research takes two distinct but interrelated paths focused on elementary students’ learning in science and engineering as well as in-service science teachers’ professional development.

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Stephen J Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen Krause is professor in the Materials Science Program in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of introductory materials engineering, polymers and composites, and capstone design. His research interests include evaluating conceptual knowledge, misconceptions and technologies to promote conceptual change. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory and a Chemistry Concept Inventory for assessing conceptual knowledge and change for introductory materials science and chemistry classes. He is currently conducting research on NSF projects in two areas. One is studying how strategies of engagement and feedback with support from internet tools and resources affect conceptual change and associated impact on students' attitude, achievement, and persistence. The other is on the factors that promote persistence and success in retention of undergraduate students in engineering. He was a coauthor of the paper receiving the best paper award in the Journal of Engineering Education in 2013.

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James A Middleton Arizona State University

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James A. Middleton is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology at Arizona State University. For the last three years he also held the Elmhurst Energy Chair in STEM education at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Previously, Dr. Middleton was Associate Dean for Research in the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education at Arizona State University, and Director of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992, where he also served in the National Center for Research on Mathematical Sciences Education as a postdoctoral scholar.

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Kendra Rae Beeley

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Work in Progress: How Next Generation Engineering Design Standards are Interpreted and Applied by Various StakeholdersWithin the relatively new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Engineering Designcomponent is, if not the most intimidating for K-12 teachers, certainly the most dissimilarappearing from the previous National Science Education Standards (NSES).This is an exciting time in science education, as it has been 17 years since the release of theNSES. This is also an exceptional opportunity to investigate how stakeholders respond to thenew engineering standards. Understanding the supports, barriers, and mechanisms that facilitateinterpretations and implementation is extremely important in order to execute NGSS’Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI) of Engineering Design effectively.In the final chapter of Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council,2012), the authors urge that it is imperative to establish a research agenda that focuses on“developing a better understanding of how national and state level standards are translated andimplemented . . . and how they eventually change classroom practice” (p. 311). That is the goalof this study.This exploratory study will use a mixed methods approach to determine how different groupsinterpret the NGSS Engineering Design standard and how they believe engineering designshould play out in a middle school classroom. Survey data and short-answer responses will becollected from 1) middle school science teachers, 2) science education college faculty(responsible for preparing middle school teachers), 3) college of engineering faculty, and 4)engineers. Each group will be comprised of four to eight individuals.Participants will be prompted with the four NGSS middle school Engineering Design standards,such as “Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposedobject, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.” Following, participants willbe prompted to address three key inquiries: 1. Provide a plain language interpretation of the standard. 2. Provide an example of how this standard could be applied in a middle school classroom (i.e., a lesson or unit of study). 3. Foreseen challenges for the middle school classroom with this standard. 4. Indicate past experiences (e.g., with engineering, with students, etc.) that help to interpret and apply the standard.Data will be collected from January through March and analyzed from March through May.Findings will be reported accordingly at the ASEE conference in June.ReferencesNational Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Ernzen, J., & Judson, E., & Chen, Y., & Krause, S. J., & Middleton, J. A., & Beeley, K. R. (2015, June), Work in Progress: How Next-generation Engineering Design Standards are Interpreted and Applied by Various Stakeholders Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25089

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: © 2015 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