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ERIC Number: EJ1118595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Open-Ended Projects: 21st Century Learning in Engineering Education
Nichols, Scott
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v76 n3 p20-25 Nov 2016
Preparing students to be competitive in the 21st century global economy is undoubtedly one of the major goals of all educators. Studies have shown that students who have an increased exposure to engaging STEM courses at the high school level are more likely to enter STEM majors at the collegiate level and, thus, STEM industries post-graduation (Wang, 2013, p. 1082). In order to take on this national initiative, P21, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, developed a framework that outlines key attributes of education that will prepare students for success in 21st century industry. The framework states that, when students are exposed to "the necessary support systems--standards, assessments, curriculum, and instruction, …, and learning environments--students are more engaged in the learning process and graduate better prepared to thrive in today's global economy" (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2008 para. 4). At the school level, this task falls to educators, specifically engineering educators who are at a unique advantage to design and implement projects that engage students in developmentally appropriate learning experiences while effectively developing their skill set for collegiate studies and/or industry. In turn, engagement and skill development can be successfully achieved through the design and implementation of open-ended projects. Open-ended projects in the engineering classroom not only engage students in learning and spark interests in real-world problem solving, but help to develop these essential 21st century skills. This article defines open-ended projects and describes how to apply open-ended process in the classroom.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A