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With programs like Project Lead The Way, engineering activities and curricula have increased in frequency in secondary school programs. In 2013, Next Generation Science Standards were published formalizing the importance of science and engineering practices in secondary schools as part of the ‘Three Dimensions of Science Learning’. For a typical secondary science department, the current engineering options can either be very expensive and/or very time consuming (often requiring engineering courses outside of traditional science courses). The purpose of a broader NSF-funded project is to create and evaluate a more accessible system for engaging students in one of the key components of engineering design: problem framing. This work presents one tool developed as part of that effort, the Need Identification Canvas (NIC), and the assessment methods developed for evaluating students’ engineering problem-framing skills using the NIC. The NIC is a tool for guiding novice designers through the need identification process, specifically addressing four key subcategories: stakeholders, stakeholder needs, a need statement, and information gathering. Student responses in each category were evaluated using a rubric, developed as part of this effort. The canvas has been implemented with suburban high school biology, chemistry, physics, and physical science classes (N=55) as well as first-yearmore »
As the importance to integrate engineering into K12 curricula grows so does the need to develop teachers’ engineering teaching capabilities and knowledge. One method that has been used to aid this development is engineering professional development programs. This evaluation paper presents the successes and challenges of an engineering professional development program for teachers focused around the use of engineering problem-framing design activities in high school science classrooms. These activities were designed to incorporate the cross-cutting ideas published in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and draw on best practices for instructional design of problem-framing activities from research on design and model-eliciting activities (MEAs). The professional development (PD) was designed to include the following researched-based effective PD key elements: (1) is content focused, (2) incorporates active learning, (3) supports collaboration, (4) uses models of effective practice, (5) provides coaching and expert support, (6) offers feedback and reflection, and (7) is of sustained duration. The engineering PD, including in-classroom deployment of activities and data collection, was designed as an iterative process to be conducted over a three-year period. This will allow for improvement and refinement of our approach. The first iteration, reported in this paper, consisted of seven high school science teachersmore »