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Engineering to Enhance STEM Integration Efforts


"Currently, there is a movement in K-12 education to include engineering academic standards in the science curriculum. The Next Generation Science Standards, which include engineering design learning ideas, are starting to be adopted by states. This research project builds on the STEM Integration research paradigm, defined as the merging of the disciplines of STEM. There are two main types of STEM integration: content integration and context integration. Content integration focuses on the merging of the content fields into a single curriculum in order to highlight 'big ideas' from multiple content areas, whereas context integration focuses on the content of one discipline and uses contexts from others to make the content more relevant.

This paper reports the current research on an NSF Early Faculty CAREER Development project that advances pedagogical understanding about how to teach STEM content in an interdisciplinary manner in K-12 classrooms. It posits the theoretical models of context and content integration across STEM and models of student learning in these context-rich interdisciplinary problem spaces. By researching the implementation of K-12 engineering standards, this project adds to the theoretical basis for student learning in STEM integration environments."