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Engineering Design Challenges in High School STEM Courses: A Compilation of Invited Position Papers


"Since its initial funding by the National Science Foundation in 2004, the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) has worked to understand the infusion of engineering design experiences into the high school setting. Over the years, an increasing number of educators and professional groups have participated in the expanding initiative seeking to acquaint all students with engineering design. While there is strong support for providing students with engineering design experiences in their high school STEM courses, the lack of consensus on purposes and strategies has become increasingly apparent as the work continues. Among the unsettled issues are the degree to which engineering design challenges should be open-ended or well-structured, the extent to which engineering habits of thought and action are employed in resolving the challenges; the relationships between engineering design experiences and standards-based instruction in STEM courses; and effective sequencing of age- appropriate engineering design challenges."
"In February, 2011, NCETE sought position statements from a small number of engineering educators, cognitive scientists, instructional designers, and professional development providers who have been engaged in long-term efforts to provide students with engineering design experiences in their high school STEM courses. Each of these experienced professionals was asked to provide brief descriptions of principles or guidelines that they consider to be most important in promoting effective infusion of authentic engineering design challenges into STEM courses for all high school students."

Those papers, along with a summary of suggested criteria for good engineering design challenges, are available in this document.