Advertisement

Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 454–465 | Cite as

Bringing Engineering Design into High School Science Classrooms: The Heating/Cooling Unit

  • Xornam S. ApedoeEmail author
  • Birdy Reynolds
  • Michelle R. Ellefson
  • Christian D. Schunn
Article

Abstract

Infusing engineering design projects in K-12 settings can promote interest and attract a wide range of students to engineering careers. However, the current climate of high-stakes testing and accountability to standards leaves little room to incorporate engineering design into K-12 classrooms. We argue that design-based learning, the combination of scientific inquiry and engineering design, is an approach that can be used to meet both K-12 educators’ and engineering advocates’ goals. This paper describes an 8-week high school curriculum unit, the Heating/Cooling System, in which engineering design is used to teach students central and difficult chemistry concepts such as atomic interactions, reactions, and energy changes in reactions. The goals of the paper are to (1) describe this successful design-based unit, (2) provide guidelines for incorporating design-based learning into other science topics, and (3) provide some evidence of its value for teaching difficult chemistry concepts and increasing interest in engineering careers.

Keywords

Design-based learning Inquiry-based learning High school science Project-based learning 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants EEC-0502035 and EHR-0227016. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

References

  1. American Chemical Society (2006) Chemistry in the community, 5th edn. W. H. Freeman & Co, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Benenson G, Neujahr JL (2002) Stuff that works! A technology curriculum for the elementary grades. Heinemann, PortsmouthGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradshaw GF (1992) The airplane and the logic of invention. In: Gidere RN (ed) Cognitive models of science. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  4. Brophy SP, Bransford JD (2001) Design methods for instructional modules in bioengineering. In: Proceedings of the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education. http://vanth.org/Publications.html. Accessed 14 March 2008
  5. Cohen EG (1997) Restructuring the classroom: conditions for productive small groups. In: Dubinksy E, Matthews D, Reynolds BE (eds) Readings in cooperative learning for undergraduate mathematics. Mathematical Association of America, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  6. Cunningham CM, Knight MT, Carlsen WS, Kelly G (2007) Integrating engineering in middle and high school classrooms. Int J Eng Educ 23(1):3–8Google Scholar
  7. Division of Chemical Education, American Chemical Society (2008) Conceptual questions: chemical concept inventory. http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/JCEDLib/QBank/collection/CQandChP/CQs/ConceptsInventory/CCIIntro.html. Accessed 13 April 2008
  8. Eubanks ID, Eubanks LP (1993) ACS test-item bank for high school chemistry. American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute, MilwaukeeGoogle Scholar
  9. Fortus D, Dershimer RC, Krajcik J, Marx RW, Mamlok-Naaman R (2004) Design-based science and student learning. J Res Sci Teach 41(10):1081–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fortus D, Krajcik J, Dershimer RC, Marx RW, Mamlok-Naaman R (2005) Design-based science and real-world problem solving. Int J Sci Educ 27(7):855–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. FOSS Chemical Interactions (2008) http://scienceview.berkeley.edu/chemicalinteractions/. Accessed 31 October 2007
  12. Freebury G, Gromko M, Heltzel C, Roeder J, Sevian H, Smith S, Tennesand M (2006) Active chemistry, 2nd edn. Its About Time, ArmonkGoogle Scholar
  13. Gabel D (1999) Improving teaching and learning through chemistry education research: a look to the future. J Chem Educ 76:548–554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goedhart MJ, Kaper W (2002) From chemical energetics to chemical thermodynamics. In: Gilbert JK, De Jong O, Justi R, Treagust DF, Van Driel JH (eds) Chemical education: towards research-based practice. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp 339–362Google Scholar
  15. Harrison AG, Treagust DF (2002) The particulate nature of matter: challenges in understanding the submicroscopic world. In: Gilbert JK, De Jong O, Justi R, Treagust DF, Van Driel JH (eds) Chemical education: towards research-based practice. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp 189–212Google Scholar
  16. Karplus R (1977) Science teaching and the development of reasoning. J Res Sci Teach 14:167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirschner PA, Sweller J, Clark RE (2006) Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educ Psychol 41:75–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kolodner JL, Camp PJ, Crismond D, Fasse B, Gray J, Holbrook J, Puntambekar S, Ryan M (2003a) Problem-based learning meets case-based reasoning in the middle-school science classroom: putting learning by design into practice. J Learn Sci 12(4):495–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolodner JL, Gray J, Fasse BB (2003b) Promoting transfer through case-based reasoning: rituals and practices in learning by design classrooms. Cogn Sci Q 3:183–232Google Scholar
  20. Lawson A, Abraham M, Renner J (1989) A theory of instruction: using the learning cycle to teach science concepts and thinking skills, 1st edn. National Association for Research in Science Teaching, ManhattanGoogle Scholar
  21. Mehalik MM, Doppelt Y, Schunn CD (2008) Middle-school science through design-based learning versus scripted inquiry: better overall science concept learning and equity gap reduction. J Eng Educ 97(1):1–15Google Scholar
  22. Mooney M, Laubach TA (2002) Adventure engineering: a design-centered, inquiry-based approach to middle grade science and mathematics education. J Eng Educ 91(3):309–318Google Scholar
  23. Mulford DS (1996) An inventory for measuring college students’ level of misconceptions in first semester chemistry. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, Purdue University, INGoogle Scholar
  24. National Science Resource Center (2000) Science & technology concepts for middle schools: properties of matter, 1st edn. Carolina Biological Supply Co., BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  25. Novick S, Nussbaum J (1981) Pupil’s understanding of the particulate nature of matter: a cross age study. Sci Educ 65:187–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sadler PM, Coyle HP, Schwartz M (2000) Engineering competitions in the middle school classrooms: key elements in developing affective design challenges. J Learn Sci 9(3):299–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Silk EM, Schunn CD, Strand Cary M (2007) The impact of an engineering design curriculum on science reasoning in an urban setting. In: Proceedings of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans, LA, USA, 15–17 April 2007Google Scholar
  28. Slotta JD (2004) The Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE): scaffolding knowledge integration in the science classroom. In: Linn MC, Davis EA, Bell P (eds) Internet environments for science education. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, pp 203–232Google Scholar
  29. Stacy AM (2005) Living by chemistry: teaching more students standards-based chemistry, 1st edn. Key Press, EmeryvilleGoogle Scholar
  30. Taber KS (2003) Mediating mental models of metals: acknowledging the priority of learner’s prior learning. Sci Educ 87:732–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Taber KS, Coll RK (2002) Bonding. In: Gilbert JK, De Jong O, Justi R, Treagust DF, Van Driel JH (eds) Chemical education: towards research-based practice. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp 231–234Google Scholar
  32. Ulrich KT, Eppinger SD (2004) Product design and development, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  33. van Langen A, Dekkers H (2005) Cross-national differences in participating in tertiary science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Comp Educ 41(3):329–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wright RG (2005) Fraud: a event-based science module, 1st edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xornam S. Apedoe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Birdy Reynolds
    • 1
  • Michelle R. Ellefson
    • 2
  • Christian D. Schunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Learning Research & Development CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations