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High School Student Perceptions of the Utility of the Engineering Design Process: Creating Opportunities to Engage in Engineering Practices and Apply Math and Science Content

Abstract

"Research and policy documents increasingly advocate for incorporating engineering design into K-12 classrooms in order to accomplish two goals: (1) provide an opportunity to engage with science content in a motivating real-world context; and (2) introduce students to the field of engineering. The present study uses multiple qualitative data sources (i.e., interviews, artifact analysis) in order to examine the ways in which engaging in engineering design can support students in participating in engineering practices and applying math and science knowledge. This study suggests that students better understand and value those aspects of engineering design that are more qualitative (i.e., interviewing users, generating multiple possible solutions) than the more quantitative aspects of design which create opportunities for students to integrate traditional math and science content into their design work (i.e., modeling or systematically choosing between possible design solutions). Recommendations for curriculum design and implementation are discussed."

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