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Teaching Engineering at the K-12 Level: Two Perspectives


"In this article, the authors share their own perspectives regarding engineering education at the K-12 level. Smith believes that there must be a more direct infusion of appropriate mathematics and science with the unique technological content (tools, machines, materials, processes) for an effective engineering education program to exist. He thinks that the most direct solution for a meaningful and appropriate engineering education program is to generate a national standards document that blends "selected" standards in mathematics (NCTM), science (AAAS), and technology (STL) at all grade levels to ensure an appropriately rigorous and sophisticated program that helps students "think like an engineer." On the other hand, Burghardt thinks that an effort within the engineering education community to develop K-12 engineering standards is not wise. While the "Standards for Technological Literacy" document fails to address all the concerns of the engineering education community, it does address many of them. He thinks this could be an ideal time to revise "Standards for Technological Literacy." He concludes that the real focus needs to be on students and how educators can improve their understanding of and appreciation for the technological world while deepening their knowledge in mathematics and science."