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ERIC Number: EJ841852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
The Impact of an Engineering Design Curriculum on Science Reasoning in an Urban Setting
Silk, Eli M.; Schunn, Christian D.; Cary, Mari Strand
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v18 n3 p209-223 Jun 2009
This study examines the use of engineering design to facilitate science reasoning in high-needs, urban classrooms. The Design for Science unit utilizes scaffolds consistent with reform science instruction to assist students in constructing a design solution to satisfy a need from their everyday lives. This provides a meaningful context in which students could reason scientifically. Eighth grade students from two urban schools participated in the unit. Both schools contained large percentages of racial/ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged students. Students demonstrated statistically significant improvement on a paper-and-pencil, multiple-choice pre and post assessment. The results compare favorably with both a high-quality inquiry science unit and a traditional textbook curriculum. Implications for the use of design-based curricula as a viable alternative for teaching science reasoning in high-needs, urban settings are discussed.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A