ERIC Number: EJ1063873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Reference Count: 3
An Engineer Does What Now?
Gilbert, Amy; Wade, Katherine
Science Teacher, v81 n9 p37-42 Dec 2014
For an introductory engineering class at an all-girls urban high school in the Southeast, the authors planned an experience that would align with the engineering aspects of the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013). The goal was to better relate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to everyday life. The authors expected their at-risk students--who historically perform below grade level--to struggle with the activity. So, they modified the activity, based on the 5E learning cycle (Bybee 2013), from the previous year to create better diagnostic assessments, more realistic contexts, and a focus on shared roles and processes of engineers and scientists. The activity, described in this article, uses explicit and reflective approaches to teach the practices that are part of science and engineering, particularly the Constructing Explanations (for science) and Designing Solutions (for engineering) practice. They also wanted students to learn core ideas in the physical sciences about motion, forces, and stability (HS-PS2) and energy (HS-PS3) and investigate crosscutting concepts like structure and function and stability and change. Consistent with the 5E learning cycle, their students first reflected on their own thinking in the "engage" phase, then actively "explored" engineering processes and purposes. In the "explanation" phase, students were presented accurate concepts of and comparisons between science and engineering processes. Students participated in a new, realistic engineering task as a means of "elaboration". Finally, students underwent "evaluation" based on how well they described the processes of designing a solution, including testing, redesigning, and forming a budget.
Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Engineering Education, Urban Schools, High School Students, STEM Education, Standards, Science Education, Single Sex Schools, Reflective Teaching, Teaching Methods, Budgets, Student Evaluation, Energy, Motion, Physics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A