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Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 705–720 | Cite as

High School Student Perceptions of the Utility of the Engineering Design Process: Creating Opportunities to Engage in Engineering Practices and Apply Math and Science Content

  • Leema BerlandEmail author
  • Rebecca Steingut
  • Pat Ko
Article

Abstract

Research and policy documents increasingly advocate for incorporating engineering design into K-12 classrooms in order to accomplish two goals: (1) provide an opportunity to engage with science content in a motivating real-world context; and (2) introduce students to the field of engineering. The present study uses multiple qualitative data sources (i.e., interviews, artifact analysis) in order to examine the ways in which engaging in engineering design can support students in participating in engineering practices and applying math and science knowledge. This study suggests that students better understand and value those aspects of engineering design that are more qualitative (i.e., interviewing users, generating multiple possible solutions) than the more quantitative aspects of design which create opportunities for students to integrate traditional math and science content into their design work (i.e., modeling or systematically choosing between possible design solutions). Recommendations for curriculum design and implementation are discussed.

Keywords

Engineering education Engineering design STEM integration K-12 education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank everyone on the UTeachEngineering project team for their invaluable support on this work. The project was funded by National Science Foundation grant DUE-0831811 to the UTeachEngineering project at The University of Texas at Austin. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NSF. An early version of this work was presented at AERA, 2013.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin at MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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