This project has two overall goals. The first goal is to create a new instructional approach that middle school science teachers can use to teach the engineering design process. The second goal is to learn more about how middle school students propose, support, critique and revise design solutions. This project will result in new findings about how middle school students learn about the engineering design process, how they propose, support, critique and revise engineering designs; and how different aspects of instruction support or constrain middle school student use of disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts while engaging in the engineering design process. This project will directly impact four teachers and a diverse group of approximately 1000 students. Once the instructional model is developed, it has the potential to be adopted by teachers throughout the United States. This new approach to instruction will enable science teachers to integrate engineering concepts and practices into any middle school science course as prescribed by the Next Generation Science Standards – without needing to adopt or purchase an entirely new curriculum. In addition, the project has the potential to enhance interest in the field of engineering and to broaden the participation of women and minorities in engineering.
Partners / Collaborators
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant #1607916). Principal Investigators for the project Victor Sampson, Stephanie Rivale, Todd Hutner, and Richard Crawford (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.
An Instructional Framework for the Integration of Engineering into Middle School Science Classrooms
Christina L. Baze, Todd L Hutner, Richard H Crawford, Victor Sampson, Lawrence Chu, Stephanie Rivale, Hannah Smith Brooks
Science teachers have recently been challenged to add engineering design into their classrooms to comply with the addition of engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Taking advantage of this opportunity to promote engineering, an initial prototype of an instructional framework has been designed and revised called Argument Driven Engineering (ADE) that embeds a student argumentation process with the engineering design process and integrates NGSS science and engineering practices with disciplinary core ideas. The ADE framework was modeled after the existing Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI) framework currently used by over 2300 science teachers. Four engineering design tasks (EDTs) have been developed and are currently being implemented with 300 eighth grade students in two public middle schools to engage students in engineering through a sequence of activities that will give them an opportunity to: (a) engage in engineering design that explicitly incorporates scientific core ideas and mathematical principles; (b) use evidence-based argumentation to propose and critique design solutions; and (c) participate in team and individual sense-making through discourse and writing. Continue reading on the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition website.
Argument Driven Engineering in Middle School Science Classrooms: The Study of Engineering Attitudes and Efforts to Broaden Engineering Participation by Exposing All Students to Multiple Engineering Design Tasks
Lawrence Chu, Victor Sampson, Todd L. Hutner, Stephanie Rivale, Christina L. Baze, Hannah Smith Brooks
The goal of this study was to examine how the use of a newly developed instructional model is related to changes in middle school students’ attitudes toward engineering and participation in engineering careers. Although the literature shows that much has already been implemented in the way of promoting equity in engineering and science, this study uniquely takes place in the context of a science classroom where middle school students propose, support, critique, and revise engineering design solutions, and it helps to elucidates how their attitudes toward engineering change as familiarity with the design process grows. Four prototype engineering design tasks were developed using the argument driven engineering (ADE) framework by the research team to allow students to engage in engineering design by incorporating disciplinary core ideas and math principles, use evidence-based arguments to develop and critique design solutions, and participate in collaborative and individual learning through writing and discourse. The ADE framework was implemented in two middle schools in a southern state of the U.S. with two teachers and a total of over 100 students. Surveys were administered at three time points, scoring students on three attitudinal factors: Engineering Self-Identity, Engineering Interest, and perceptions of Engineers’ Benefit to Society. Student engineering interest and perception of engineers’ benefit to society were both found to decrease on average from one survey to the next, while scores on engineering self-identity stayed the same on average. Additionally, not knowing an engineer was shown to be associated with a disadvantage in the factors of both interest in engineering and perceptions of engineers’ benefit to society. The limitations of the study include a small number of time points, a lack of a control group, minimal collection of open-ended data, and software limitations. Continue reading on the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition website.
Tensions Arising When Teaching Scientific Disciplinary Core Ideas via Engineering Practices
Hannah Smith Brooks, Todd L. Hutner, Victor Sampson, Lawrence Chu, Richard H. Crawford , Stephanie Rivale, Christina L. Baze
Abstract: The Framework for K-12 Science Education calls for engineering practices to be integrated into the teaching and learning of science. We have developed a new instructional model to meet this need, so that teachers are able to develop engineering design tasks that will give students an opportunity to learn how to use engineering practices and the core ideas of science at the same time to develop solutions to meaningful problems. A number of tensions have arisen as we have iteratively designed and tested this new instructional framework in middle school classrooms. In this paper, we identify five specific tensions that arise from (1) attempting to integrate engineering practices and core ideas in non-NGSS states; (2) a need to focus on scientific concepts and engineering practices at the same time; (3) the time required to engaged in engineering practices; (4) different epistemological norms of scientific and engineering communities; and, (5) attempting to balance authenticity and feasibility inside science classrooms. We anticipate that these tensions will arise whenever educators attempt to develop design tasks that integrate engineering practices and core ideas of science for use in science classrooms. While we are unable to provide definitive recommendations for resolving the five tensions prior to beginning a new curriculum or instructional development project, awareness of these potential obstacles will likely ease the challenges associated with the integration of engineering and science in the future projects. Continue reading on the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition website.