Toward Greater Mutual Understanding in STEM: A Focused, Facilitated Conversation Exploring How Engineering Lessons Can Support Math and Science “Common Core” Standards

In an environment structured for productive thinking, educators from different content areas collaboratively begin to develop a set of recommendations or considerations for cross-content generative engineering lessons.

Date/Time: 
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 1:45pm to 3:45pm
PI-organized Discussion

This session focuses on a particular role that engineering lessons and curricula can play, placing them as tools for engagement in and expansion of mathematics and science learning in which engineering is used primarily as a means to help promote learning in these content areas. This role may not be what all engineering education specialists strive for; many of us may well value engineering education for its own sake and its role supporting technological literacy. However, the presenters propose that it is critical to acknowledge that the emergence of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards means that engineering educators must consider how the E in STEM plays a role in these well-established academic fields. 

The goal is for this session to culminate in a specific “report,” perhaps a checklist of recommendations and/or exemplars of engineering lessons that can be used to guide the development of “cross-content generative engineering lessons.” To enhance this session, it is recommended that participants attend a prior session that provides information on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards. The structure for our collaborative session is inspired by the Open Space Technology (OST) format, which creates a forum in which participants are placed on equal footing and have a chance to self-select the agenda based on their individual priorities.