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Bring Engineering to Life in High School

Bringing engineering into your classroom showcases the interconnectedness of science, math, technology and the humanities. Take this self-guided tutorial and learn to identify common engineering myths, build your understanding of the engineering design process and how to apply it to hands-on activities, and get concrete steps you can use to easily integrate engineering. This training is offered at three grade bands: Elementary, Middle and High.

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Bring Engineering to Life in High School

  1. 1. Bringing Engineering to Life in High School An online tutorial for high school teachers 1
  2. 2. 1. Why Teach Engineering? 2. Engineering Myths and Truths 3. The EDP (Engineering Design Process) 4. Classroom Connections 5. Engineering Suggestions 2 SECTIONS OF THIS TUTORIAL
  3. 3.  You be a better teacher  Your students be better learners 3 ENGINEERING CAN HELP WHY TEACH ENGINEERING?
  4. 4. 4 Engineering offers a practical, efficient way to teach STEM. It also  showcases the interconnectedness of math, science, technology, and engineering  helps students see the relevance of these subjects to their own lives WHY TEACH ENGINEERING? WHY TEACH ENGINEERING?
  5. 5. 5 Engineering often improves learning and student achievement in science and math. Source: Why Use Engineering in Education?” National Academy of Engineering
  6. 6. 6 Emphasize of engineering equally with science to underscore its importance to K–12 education. WHY TEACH ENGINEERING? Next Generation Science Standards
  7. 7. 7 The E in STEM pulls it all together. WHY TEACH ENGINEERING?
  8. 8. 8 Doing engineering inspires more students than you might expect to consider a STEM career.
  9. 9. 9 Engineering is a versatile, lucrative career on the forefront of solving the world’s problems and making life better. The more high school students understand about engineering, the more they will consider it as a career path. WHY TEACH ENGINEERING?
  10. 10. 10 High school is a critical time to teach engineering. It can be transformative for both you and your students. WHY TEACH ENGINEERING?
  11. 11. 11 Next, high school math teacher Todd Matia is going to share his experiences.
  12. 12. 12 MYTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS Engineers sit alone behind a desk and do math calculations all day.
  13. 13. 13 Engineering Myths and Truths Engineers work in teams and are constantly on the go—holding design meetings, reviewing specs with clients, testing or inspecting new equipment. TRUTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS
  14. 14. 14 Engineering is the domain of nerdy guys. MYTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS
  15. 15. 15 ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS The face of engineering is changing fast as more students discover it as a great career. TRUTH
  16. 16. 16 Engineering is basically the same thing as science, and you’re already teaching science. MYTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS
  17. 17. 17 They are different and complementary…  Science answers questions through experimentation.  Engineering solves problems through design. TRUTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS
  18. 18. 18 Science is familiar and you know how to teach it, but engineering is foreign territory. ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS MYTH
  19. 19. 19 Science and engineering overlap. The both involve…  developing and using models  refining a solution to a real-world problem  using mathematical representations of phenomena TRUTH ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS
  20. 20. 20 Engineering Myths and Truths Engineering is dry and pragmatic, focused on facts and numbers. It’s not imaginative or artistic. ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS MYTH
  21. 21. ENGINEERING MYTHS AND TRUTHS 21 TRUTH Engineers use their creativity and analytical skills to invent, design, and build things that matter. By finding imaginative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time.
  22. 22. THE EDP 22 The engineering design process (EDP) is at the heart of all engineering.
  23. 23. 23 THE EDP This next example illustrates what the EDP looks in a high school classroom.
  24. 24. TENNIS ANYONE? ACTIVITY Your Challenge Design a racket out of everyday materials and use it to hit a ping-pong ball against a target. Materials Include • Velcro ping-pong ball • Target board • Wire • Paper towel tubes • Tape • Pipe Cleaners
  25. 25. 25 THE EDP The Problem Make a racket that hits a ping pong ball against a target several times.
  26. 26. 26 THE EDP The Specs • Use only the listed materials. • The racket is strong enough to make the ball stick when it hits the target.
  27. 27. 27 THE EDP Brainstorm • Discuss tennis racket designs • Examine properties of materials • Explore potential solutions
  28. 28. 28 THE EDP Design • Choose one idea • Sketch it • Discuss how it will work • Look for potential problems
  29. 29. 29 THE EDP Build • Designs will evolve • It’s a messy, loud stage • It’s worth it…it makes engineering come to life!
  30. 30. 30 THE EDP • Set up testing zone • Record results • Redesign to improve • Add requirements for kids who need more of a challenge Test, Improve, Redesign
  31. 31. 31 THE EDP Share It! • Students present their solutions • Discuss what worked, what didn’t • Say what they liked about each other’s designs
  32. 32. 32 Engineers move back and forth among these steps. They might share results at any point, for example, and use feedback to go back to brainstorming. THE EDP The Process
  33. 33. 33 Students will try to skip steps, like design, and go right to build. When planning, decide how much time students will spend on each step. You’ll also notice that some activities emphasize certain steps more than others. TIP THE EDP
  34. 34.  Engineering design process  Scientific inquiry  Project-based learning 34 CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS Three Teaching Methods
  35. 35. 35  Creativity  Communication  Critical Thinking  Collaboration Share Key Characteristics
  36. 36. 36 In all three approaches, the teacher becomes a guide and trouble shooter, rather than main conveyor of information. CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS STUDENTS LEARN BY DOING
  37. 37. 37 The second part of the formula is combining the messages with a hands–on activity Learning by doing helps students understand why failure is such an important part of the process.
  38. 38. 38 Todd, the teacher you met earlier, uses engineering to teach project management as well. CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS PROJECT MANAGEMENT
  39. 39. 39 See how it helps his students manage lengthy, big projects and allows him to concentrate on content and troubleshooting. CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS
  40. 40. 40 How do you turn engineering into something you can do in a high school classroom, on a tight schedule? YOU’VE SEEN THE BENEFITS . . . CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS
  41. 41. 41 Start by integrating engineering activities into an existing math or science class. CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS
  42. 42. 42 CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS Hands-on activities are a great way to bring engineering into your classroom. Find activities at
  43. 43. You may also offer a whole course on engineering. Predesigned curricula are available from vendors such as…  Project Lead the Way  Paxton/Patterson STEM Learning Systems  STEM 101 43 CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS
  44. 44. 44 Some schools start engineering academies. NAF, for example, has a high school engineering academy. CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS
  45. 45. 45 ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS There are many other ways to expose high school students to engineering.
  46. 46. 46 CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS An afterschool engineering club gives students time to delve deep. Check out: ASCE Civil Engineering Club IDEA 1
  47. 47. 47 ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS Invite students to participate in engineering contests, like….  CyberPatriot  InvenTeams  Vex Robotics IDEA 2
  48. 48. 48 ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS Discuss how to incorporate engineering into the high school curriculum with your professional learning community or grade-level team. IDEA 3
  49. 49. 49 ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS Invite engineers into your classroom. They can help with a project and talk about their careers. IDEA 4
  50. 50. 50 ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS  Local university  Local chapters of engineering societies  Local engineering companies FIND GUEST ENGINEERS
  51. 51. 51 Ask students to watch, listen, or read a news article about a problem in their community that engineers are solving. ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS IDEA 5
  52. 52. 52 Visit DiscoverE to see what kinds of engineering events you would like to participate in with your students! ENGINEERING SUGGESTIONS IDEA 6
  53. 53. 53 That’s it! You’re ready to bring engineering alive for your students. How are you going to begin?
  54. 54. Funding for this training was provided by: