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Student Interest in Engineering Design-Based Science

Abstract

"Current reform efforts in science education around the world call on teachers to use integrated approaches to teach science. As a part of such reform efforts in the United States, engineering practices and engineering design have been identified in K-12 science education standards. However, there is relatively little is known about effective ways of teaching science through engineering design. The study explores the approaches or strategies used by a sixth grade science teacher to teach science and engineering in an integrative manner. Classroom observations, teacher interview, and student surveys were used to study the features of engineering integration implemented by the teacher and the changes in student interest in science and engineering by participating in an engineering design-based science unit. Findings suggest that the teacher explicitly included practices and core ideas from engineering and science; used an engaging, motivating engineering challenge; and provided students with opportunities to be autonomous. Students engaged in the activities in the engineering unit and their interest level slightly increased. The results suggest that the three strategies that the teacher used to teach engineering and science are important foundations of integrated science and engineering education."

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