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A Case Study: Teaching Engineering Concepts in Science


"This study was conducted to describe a teacher developed high school engineering course, to identify teaching strategies used in the process of delivering math and science literacy through this course, to identify challenges and constraints that occurred during its development and delivery, and to describe the strategies that were used to overcome those obstacles.

A case study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with the engineering instructor at Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. In addition, the researcher conducted classroom observations and reviewed instructional materials, teacher lesson plans, and teacher journals.

Themes that developed regarding the strategies used to deliver this particular course identified that concepts created its platform for delivery, curricular trial and error was at work, science and engineering competitions were leveraged as a basis for learning activities, project based learning and teaching were employed, there was a clear emphasis on creative thought and work, and the teacher served as a guide rather than the "sage".

Themes developed regarding the identification of challenges and constraints that occurred during the development and delivery of this engineering course were assessment of student learning was dubious and elusive and stakeholders tended to be uneasy with this new pedagogy. Lastly, themes developed regarding the strategies used to overcome these obstacles identified financial and instructional support through business partnership and administrative support as being critical. "