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What is the Role of Engineering in Secondary Education? A Case for Integrating Crosscutting Engineering Skills in K-12

Abstract

"This paper explores the role that engineering educators can play in building engineering skills in K-12 level, as demonstrated in the Hampton Roads Partnership for Algebra (HR-PAL) project in Virginia. The premise of the project is that the engineering skills should be developed in mathematics and science classes. This paper focuses on the development of problem solving and algebraic thinking skills at K-12 level, using a basic engineering approach, namely 'system analysis', in solving word problems. The results of the project presented here indicate that the problem solving skills of in-service teachers of technology and mathematics, specifically algebra, may be enhanced/developed by a structured problem-solving program employing 'system analysis' in professional learning communities (PLC), such as teachers' circles and summer institutes. Thus, it was concluded that the application of 'system analysis' may be used as a model for integrating crosscutting engineering fundamental skill of problem solving and design across different subjects."

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