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MSP News: Integrating Engineering and Science in the Elementary Classroom

August 8, 2019


NEWS IN BRIEF


New MSP Paper
"Investigating Elementary Teachers’ Tensions and Mitigating Strategies Related to Integrating Engineering Design-Based Science Instruction," Jeffrey Radloff, Brenda M. Capobianco, Research in Science Education, May 2019.

New in Library
1. "Elementary Teachers’ Enactment of the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices," Emily J.S. Kang, Mary Jean McCarthy, Corinne Donovan, Journal of Science Teacher Education, July 2019.
2. "Broadening K-8 Teachers’ Perspectives on Professional Development in Engineering Integration in the United States," So Yoon Yoon, Yi Kong, Heidi A. Diefes-Dux, Johannes Strobel, International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 2018.
3. "Refining an Instrument and Studying Elementary Teachers’ Understanding of the Scope of Engineering," Jacob Pleasants, Joanne K. Olson, Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), March 2019.
4. "Increasing Early Opportunities in Engineering for Advanced Learners in Elementary Classrooms: A Review of Recent Literature," Debbie Dailey, Alicia Cotabish, Nykela Jackson, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 2018.

New in Resources
"Balancing Engineering and Science Instruction: Teaching third graders about balanced and unbalanced forces," Jesse Wilcox, Maryah Klapprodt, Jordan Holub, Kysha Van Buskirk, Science and Children, March 2019.

2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature two videos from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase that address integrating engineering and science.

Title: Next Generation Science for Next Generation Kids

Presenter(s): Kirsten Daehler, Jennifer Folsom, Jennifer Mendenhall, Patrick Moyle, & Nicole Wong

Title: Seeds of STEM: A Problem-based STEM Curriculum for Preschool

Presenter(s): Mia Dubosarsky, Florencia Anggoro, Colleen Bostwick, Suchira Channoi, Melissa Sue John, & Susmitha Wunnava


DETAILS BELOW


New MSP Paper
1. "Investigating Elementary Teachers’ Tensions and Mitigating Strategies Related to Integrating Engineering Design-Based Science Instruction," Jeffrey Radloff, Brenda M. Capobianco, Research in Science Education, May 2019.

"The adoption of engineering design-based science teaching requires elementary teachers to modify their current science pedagogy, often resulting in tensions or hard choices they must make in their teaching practice. The purpose of this study is to identify, compare, and characterize the tensions faced by 45 grade 3 and grade 4 elementary teachers over the course of 2 years within the context of a large-scale math-science partnership aimed at improving student learning of science through design and what mitigating strategies they employed to relieve these pressures. Data were gathered using semi-structured interviews prior to and after implementation. Transcripts of these interviews were analyzed using open coding. Findings indicate that within 1 year, teachers' challenges shifted from conceptual and pedagogical in quality to more multifaceted and cultural, reflecting the nature of engineering design and emphasizing teachers' changing roles to facilitate student small group interactions. Mitigating strategies were related to the type of tensions described by teachers, the majority of which became apparent through teachers' repeated enactments of engineering design. Despite facing tensions, teacher participants expressed purposeful intentions to continue using engineering design to teach science. Implications included unearthing engineering design-based science teaching as a reflective teaching approach deeply connected to the nature of engineering that promotes the development of student-centered teaching practices. Ways of connecting these findings with professional development and teacher preparation are discussed."

MSPnet Location: Library >> MSP Papers
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33818



New in Library
1. "Elementary Teachers’ Enactment of the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices," Emily J.S. Kang, Mary Jean McCarthy, Corinne Donovan, Journal of Science Teacher Education, July 2019.

"This paper reports findings from a two-year investigation on the impact of a professional development (PD) program on second grade teachers' science teaching practice, particularly of the Next Generation Science Standards Science and Engineering Practices (NGSS SEPs). The aims of this study were three-fold: 1) identify which SEPs teachers enacted during classroom instruction at the start and end of the PD; 2) explore the ways in which the SEPs were enacted; and 3) explore trends in self-efficacy and confidence of teaching the NGSS SEPs at mid and end points of the PD compared to the start of the program. Analysis of classroom observations revealed that, at time 2 (end of PD), teachers tended to incorporate more of the practices into instruction, with the greatest increase experienced by SEP 7 Engaging in Argumentation. Students also played a more active role in enacting each practice. Classroom observations revealed that, at both time 1 and time 2, teachers successfully utilized both general and SEP-specific scaffolds to support student enactment. Moreover, rather than teaching each practice in isolation, teachers integrated practices together to reach their lesson objective. While students were able to successfully enact most of the practices, they tended to struggle with specific aspects of argumentation and explanation. Finally, teachers experienced significant growth in self-efficacy and confidence of teaching the SEPs as well as in actual classroom practice."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33820


2. "Broadening K-8 Teachers’ Perspectives on Professional Development in Engineering Integration in the United States," So Yoon Yoon, Yi Kong, Heidi A. Diefes-Dux, Johannes Strobel, International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 2018.

"As the United States has introduced engineering to science through Next Generation Science Standards, in-service teacher professional development (TPD) becomes necessary because a majority of teachers did not encounter engineering and associated pedagogies in their pre-service programs. This study explored such in-service teachers' perspectives of engineering education for students and the efficacy of TPD programs in engineering. Responses from 302 K-8 teachers on an open-ended survey after a weeklong TPD were analyzed through an inductive analysis and a creative synthesis. While teachers were either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, they preferred learning engineering through hands-on activities and liked the opportunities to interact with peer teachers, instructors, engineers, and students. They valued innovative ideas and teaching strategies that allowed them to directly integrate engineering into different subjects and wanted to learn more about different engineering fields, engineering pedagogical content knowledge and activities."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33821


3. "Refining an Instrument and Studying Elementary Teachers’ Understanding of the Scope of Engineering," Jacob Pleasants, Joanne K. Olson, Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), March 2019.

"To effectively incorporate engineering into their instruction, K-12 teachers need sufficient knowledge of the engineering discipline. An important component of teachers' engineering knowledge is their understanding of the nature of engineering: what engineers do, the epistemological underpinnings of engineering, and the relationships between engineering and other fields of study. In this study, we present a quantitative tool that was developed to assess teachers' knowledge of a particular nature of engineering dimension: the scope of engineering, which describes the demarcation between engineering and non-engineering. This tool was used to assess the knowledge of teachers and engineering graduate students, before and after they participated in a research project focused on improving elementary science and engineering instruction. Our results indicate that the scope of engineering knowledge of all participants, including the engineering graduate students, improved over the course of the project. Unexpectedly, we found that engineering graduate students were no more knowledgeable about the scope of engineering than the teachers in the study. We explore potential reasons for this result, propose recommendations for future use of the scope of engineering instrument, and discuss promising avenues for future instrument development."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Teaching and Learning
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33822


4. "Increasing Early Opportunities in Engineering for Advanced Learners in Elementary Classrooms: A Review of Recent Literature," Debbie Dailey, Alicia Cotabish, Nykela Jackson, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 2018.

"Present and future challenges in our society demand a solid science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge base, innovative thinking, and the ability to ask the right questions to generate multiple solutions. To prepare innovators to meet these challenges, we must recognize and develop their talents. This advancement and growth can be encouraged through classroom activities, special schools, afterschool or summer programs, competitions, and informal learning opportunities that focus on STEM curricula and authentic experiences. Purposeful introductions, early exposure, and continuous development with science and engineering concepts can affect retention and sustain interest in STEM fields. This article describes how both in-school and informal science opportunities can provide authentic and experiential opportunities to stimulate students' interests in science and engineering and foster their curiosity through problem-based investigations. In addition, the authors recommend appropriate STEM-focused professional development for teachers to provide engaging experiences for their students."

MSPnet Location: Library >> Prof. Dev.
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33823



New in Resources
 "Balancing Engineering and Science Instruction: Teaching third graders about balanced and unbalanced forces," Jesse Wilcox, Maryah Klapprodt, Jordan Holub, Kysha Van Buskirk, Science and Children, March 2019.

"This activity has students solve an engineering problem of moving a marshmallow from the floor to a table. We use this experience to explore how unbalanced forces are necessary to move objects and how simple machines can make tasks easier."

MSPnet Location: Resources >>
http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33819


2019 STEM for All Video Showcase
This week we feature two videos from the 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase that address integrating engineering and science.

Title: Next Generation Science for Next Generation Kids

Presenter(s): Kirsten Daehler, Jennifer Folsom, Jennifer Mendenhall, Patrick Moyle, & Nicole Wong

Title: Seeds of STEM: A Problem-based STEM Curriculum for Preschool

Presenter(s): Mia Dubosarsky, Florencia Anggoro, Colleen Bostwick, Suchira Channoi, Melissa Sue John, & Susmitha Wunnava