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ERIC Number: EJ1228243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Promoting Construction Education in K-12 by Using an Experiential, Student-Centered, STEM-Infused Construction Unit
Weidman, Justin; Wright, Geoffrey
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v79 n1 p8-12 Sep 2019
Construction Education has been dwindling in K-12 classrooms for the past 20 years (Frazier, 2015; Chini, 1999; Jones, 1990). This has led to enrollment issues and professional shortages in the construction industry (Bigelow, 2015). Couple these facts with the call for STEM majors (Painter, 2012), and there is a noteworthy opportunity: combine construction and STEM education to promote interest and stability in STEM and construction. In an effort to address this opportunity, an experiential learning curriculum solution was designed. Not only does this solution present a hybrid approach that blends construction and STEM, but it also addresses many of the issues that have caused construction education to be removed from many K-12 schools (e.g., cost, space, and school focus on standardized testing). The solution involves teaching construction and design principles using universally available (and well-known) and affordable design software. The solution makes blending STEM and construction affordable and interesting by using an experiential, student-centered learning pedagogy. Also ensuring that the curriculum integrates core STEM principles has additional beneficial learning outcomes: (1) Students are more aware of the application and connection of STEM principles to industry applications and careers. For example, construction is closely related to STEM education in that it implements engineering and design and puts them into application. It is also a field where problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking are needed every day; and (2) Students experience problem solving in a creative--but context-rich--application, which can have a positive influence on academic performance (Bransford, 1986; McMillan, 1987). This articles describes an experiential, student-centered, STEM-infused construction unit which was co-designed by a construction professor and a technology and engineering education professor. The learning objective of the unit was to increase student interest in construction and complementary STEM areas by engaging students in a hands-on activity, using digital technologies familiar to them.
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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A