Thinking about Engineering Education

For the last 3 years I have been dabbling in Engineering Education. Most of the work has been at the awareness level- giving K-8 teachers (inservice and preservice) an introduction to the Engineering Design Process and helping them to think about how to identify and/or add some engineering tasks to their science instruction. With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards, we now have a strong driving force for intentional K-12 engineering education.

I have multiple projects in the 2013-14 school year that involve engineering education, so I am hoping to build up my own expertise on engineering in terms of engineering content, pedagogy, and professional development practices. Moving to a K-12 focus on engineering will be new for most of us. Below I have listed just a few of my favorite engineering resources (most of them FREE and perhaps lesser known) and have organized them by category. I’ll be posting on more individual resources in the coming weeks.

Overview of Engineering Education

Appendix I of NGSS– This is the cyclical 3 part Engineering Process we should be considering

Core Ideas of Engineering and Technology” by Cary Sneider NSTA Article

Engineering Education K-12– a 2009 report

2009 Issue of the Bridge– Linking engineering and society (has some good articles about teaching and learning engineering)

Resources on Engineering PD

Elementary Teacher Professional Development in Engineering: Lessons Learned from Engineering is Elementary

Engineering Efforts and Opportunities in the National Science Foundation’s Math and Science Partnerships (MSP) Program

Learning and Teaching Science Through Engineering Design: Insights and Implications for Professional Development

Engineering Advocacy

Engineering Messaging– Provides statements and tools for making the case for engineering education

Resources for teaching about Engineering

K-5 Application (Design) Handbook

Those Darn Squirrels (Teaching Engineering with a Picture Book)

A World in Motion– Sources of FREE K-12 Design Challenges

PBS Design Squad

More to come đŸ™‚

2 responses to “Thinking about Engineering Education

  1. I really worry about where we have time. In my methods class I hardly have time to scratch surface of science teaching. If I add engineering, I dilute science. I understand that engineering can be embedded in science or math but it still takes time and there is no time. Constant dilemma when literacy takes three hours of the day in elementary classroom.

  2. For Chris and other who have the same problem, if you find that you don’t have enough time to scratch some of the engineering topics, at least try to incorporate the engineering design process into your other curriculum. You don’t necessarily have to talk about engineering in itself, you could just get the students in the mindset of problem solving in a methodological manner, after all, that is the core of engineer/mathematics. If you do have time for some activities, I recommend doing something like building towers and teaching them about the different types of joints, ext. Other fun activities might include creating paper gliders. Plenty of other ideas out there in the internet, so explore.

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