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EngrTEAMS Profile

EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science in a Team-Based Targeted Mathematics-Science Partnership


This project is increasing grade 4-8 student learning of science concepts, as well as mathematical concepts related to data analysis and measurement, by using an engineering design-based approach to teacher professional development and curricular development. The partnership involves the University of Minnesota's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Center and the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering, the Saint Paul Public Schools, the North Saint Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, and the South Washington County Schools. These three school districts are contiguous, and represent schools that are inner city, urban, and suburban.

This project is helping 200 teachers develop engineering design curricular units for each of the major science topic areas within the Minnesota State Academic Science Standards for grades 4-8 with a focus on vertical alignment and transition from upper elementary to middle-level, impacting 15,000 students over the life of the grant. The partnership is using summer professional development and curriculum writing workshops, paired with a cognitive coaching model, to allow teachers to design engineering design-based curricular units focused on science concepts, meaningful data analysis, and measurement. These curricular units are going through an extensive design research cycle to ensure a quality product and then will be submitted to TeachEngineering (, an online peer-reviewed digital library, for use across the United States and beyond.

Measurable outcomes of the EngrTEAMS project are to:

- Increase student mastery of grade-level standards in science and data analysis/measurement.

- Increase student understanding of engineering and engineering design.

- Promote a coherent transition between intermediate and middle school science learning through aligning the curricula for developmentally appropriate learning of concepts and aligning the pedagogies for research-based learning opportunities for students.

- Develop a more effective and sustainable coaching model to support teachers in science classrooms.

- Promote curricular design that allows content to be taught more meaningfully in the same or less time as more standard ways of approaching the teaching of science.

This project is advancing understanding about engineering design-based pedagogies and cognitive coaching models in science and the impacts of those on 4th-8th grade students'; achievement in mathematics, science and critical thinking abilities. It is enhancing the student learning in and attitudes towards STEM fields.

The project partners' student population is diverse. Many of the Saint Paul School District's students come from immigrant or refugee families and 45% live in homes in which English is not the first language spoken. Because the teachers who teach in high-needs schools will implement the curriculum modules, this project is documenting the learning outcomes of underrepresented populations when presented with curriculum modules. The research findings are providing directions for designing effective curriculum and learning of STEM. The dissemination of the curriculum modules on peer-reviewed websites and the findings of the research studies are informing practitioners, administrators, researchers, and policy makers who aim to improve student achievement and interest in STEM careers.

Site Contributions
12/05/18Understanding Science Teachers’ Implementations of Integrated STEM Curricular Units Through a Phenomenological Multiple Case Study
11/27/18Supporting Engineering Design Ideas with Science and Mathematics: A Case Study of Middle School Life Science Students
10/03/18What Makes Learning Physics Interesting? A Gender Study with Middle School Students
09/18/18Informed Designers? Students’ Reflections on Their Engineering Design Process
12/20/17The Impact of Design-Based STEM Integration Curricula on Student Achievement in Engineering, Science, and Mathematics
10/25/17Approaches to Integrating Engineering in STEM Units and Student Achievement Gains
10/09/17EngrTEAMS: Engineering Design Process
06/16/17Engineering Design in the Classroom: The EngrTEAMS Curriculum Project
06/16/17Building Up STEM: An Analysis of Teacher-Developed Engineering Design-Based STEM Integration Curricular Materials
06/16/17Student Interest in Engineering Design-Based Science
05/24/17Engineering Design in the Classroom: EngrTEAMS
04/18/17Flood Rescue: A Gender-Inclusive Integrated STEM Curriculum Unit
12/13/16'If I Had To Do It, Then I Would': Understanding Early Middle School Students' Perceptions Of Physics And Physics-Related Careers By Gender
07/27/16Students' Use of Evidence-Based Reasoning in K-12 Engineering: A Case Study
05/17/16EngrTEAMS Project Video 2016
11/18/15Development of an Instrument to Assess Attitudes Toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
11/18/15A Study of STEM Assessments in Engineering, Science, and Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Students
10/07/15Teachers' Use of Argumentation in the Development of Integrated STEM Curricula
06/24/15Artificial Floating Islands: An Integrated STEM Unit
05/18/15Publications associated with EngrTEAMS
04/08/15STEM integration in the middle grades: A case study of teacher implementation
04/01/15Classroom discourse development for "Flipping classrooms": Theoretical concepts, practices, and joint efforts from engineering students and instructors
04/01/15STEM Integration: Evidence of Student Learning in Design-Based Curricula
09/16/14Engineering to Enhance STEM Integration Efforts
09/16/14Examination of Integrated STEM Curricula as a Means Toward Quality K- 12 Engineering Education (Research to Practice)
10/05/12STEM Education Center receives $8M National Science Foundation grant