Bringing engineering into K-12 schools: A problem looking for solutions?

Howard Kimmel, John Carpinelli, Levelle Burr-Alexander, Ronald Rockland

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Increasing the presence of engineering in K-12 education has become a high priority. Most middle and high school students and many of their teachers still do not have a positive attitude towards engineering or do not really know what engineers do. How do we meet this challenge of bringing engineering into K-12 classrooms? Two different approaches can be visualized for bringing engineering concepts and principles to these populations: 1) Introduce engineering as a "stand-alone" subject in the schools. 2) Integrate engineering concepts and applications into the different content areas in the curriculum. Curriculum materials and instructional strategies are available for either approach. However, there are also issues to be considered for each approach that are common to both approaches. It is important to understand both the scope and the constraints of these intertwined issues. This study examines the two approaches within the context of these issues, including: Working within National and State academic content standards in various content areas including technology. Is standards alignment merely a referencing of the standards in the lessons, or a process of relating learning objectives to the skills and knowledge being specified by the standards? Clarifying teacher certification and qualifications in the different states. In many states, certification is confusing and inconsistent (e.g., a chemical engineer is denied certification to teach chemistry). Recognizing the need for appropriate quality teacher preparation programs. Are there a sufficient number of teacher preparation programs to put qualified and knowledgeable teachers in our classrooms?

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2006Jun 21 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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