Engineering first: How engineering design thinking affects science learning

Mandy Biggers, Leigh Ann Haefner, Jonathan Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines has been emphasized over the past decade in many reform documents1. These fields hold promise for filling jobs of the future, and schools across the country have developed STEM programs or adopted STEM initiatives to meet the growing needs and interests of students, as well as the changing needs of the workforce. Curriculum integration intends to model the idea that authentic "real-world" problems are rarely isolated to one subject, but rather are solved in interdisciplinary and cross-curricular ways. Research on teacher's use of STEM-related curriculum and instructional practice is emerging, however, we know less about how STEM is integrated at the elementary level. This is primarily because there has historically been a lack of engineering curriculum geared toward young learners3. In addition, most elementary teachers are prepared as generalists and have not had engineering training as part of their teacher preparation. As a result, they may struggle to identify curricular connections, and may find integration of the content challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering first: How engineering design thinking affects science learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this