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Impact of Elementary School Teachers' Enacted Engineering Design-Based Science Instruction on Student Learning (Fundamental)


Engineering design is viewed as a vehicle through which scientific knowledge and real-world problem-solving skills can be constructed, refined, and enhanced. With the adoption of new national science standards in the U.S. teachers, specifically elementary school teachers, are faced with the daunting task of learning how to integrate engineering design and, more importantly, facilitate student learning of science through design. Considerable strides at the national level have been made to integrate engineering design for inservice elementary science teachers. Programs such as the Boston's Museum of Science's Engineering is Elementary, Purdue University's Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Partnership, The John Hopkins University's STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES), and University of Minnesota's Engr: TEAMS are grounded in the delivery of high-quality, content rich, engineering design-based experiences for inservice elementary science teachers. Results from the SLED Partnership, for example, show strong proof-of-concept that elementary teachers can develop deep conceptual knowledge of engineering practices and effectively translate engineering basics into the classroom environment. However, how elementary school teachers' direct instruction of engineering design impacts student learning of science has yet to be examined. The purpose of this study was to explore elementary school teachers' enactments of engineering design-based science instruction and to assess the impact of their instruction on students' science learning.

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