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Engineering Design in the Classroom: The EngrTEAMS Curriculum Project

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The Next Generation Science Standards and many state standards documents call for teachers to use engineering design to teach science in the classroom. The EngrTEAMS project is a curriculum development and coaching project that has focused on engineering design in the intermediate and middle level classrooms. Throughout the professional development experiences, classroom implementation of curricula, and participation in STEM coaching, engineering design is a central theme. Through the stories and experiences of the teachers and researchers in our project, we can learn about the highlights and most rewarding aspects of using engineering design in the intermediate and middle grades science classrooms.

The EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science in a Team-Based, Targeted Mathematics-Science Partnership project (NSF - 1238140) has been developing a suite of 13 integrated STEM curricula for grades 4 - 8. The curricula are hands-on engineering design challenges that integrate mathematics and science grade-appropriate content, mapping to Next Generation Science Standards for engineering and discipline-specific standards. Each unit was inspired by a team of teachers and developed in conjunction with members of the EngrTEAMS research team. The design projects in each unit vary in context and in terms of the mathematics and science concepts needed to create an adequate solution. Yet, within all the variation, each unit is an authentic engineering design challenge. Each unit has gone through an extensive design research cycle to ensure its quality.

Engineering design to teach science through EngrTEAMS is changing what's happening in classrooms and how students are learning: making a difference!