Scaling STEM-ID—Research Strategies to Inform Initial Scaling of Middle School Engineering Curricula

This work-in-progress paper discusses ****, a three-year middle school Engineering and Technology course sequence that integrates foundational mathematics and science in an engineering context through challenges that introduce students to advanced manufacturing tools such as computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing and incorporate engineering concepts such as pneumatics, aeronautics, and robotics. The paper will describe research strategies informing the initial scaling of the **** curricula following its iterative development over several years in a previous large-scale project. Specifically, we will describe an array of data sources the project is utilizing to inform refinement of curricula materials and the project’s professional development (PD) model to support scaling of the curricula. Funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) *** grant, the project seeks to scale the **** curricula in a large urban school district. Utilizing Design-Based Implementation Research (DBIR) as a guiding framework, the project seeks to use analyses of implementation to iteratively refine strategies for improving and supporting implementation of the **** curricula. Consistent with the tenets of DBIR, the project strives for an iterative, collaborative design process that prioritizes practitioner involvement and the consideration of multiple stakeholders’ perspectives. In the first year of the project, data collected from six teachers at five schools includes surveys, observations of teacher professional development, interviews, and focus groups. Drawing on this data, we will present illustrative findings showing how teachers leveraged resources from the **** professional development sessions, input and advice from fellow participants, and their prior STEM backgrounds as they implemented the **** curricula in 6 – 8th grade engineering classrooms. We will also describe processes the project has developed for collecting and synthesizing implementation data and teacher feedback to inform scaling efforts. The findings have practical implications that will help teachers and researchers in the engineering education community identify specific strategies and practices for scaling engineering curricula and teacher professional development models.

Baptiste Porter, D., Gale, J., Alemdar, M., Newton, S., Rehmat, A., Choi, J., Capozzoli, T., & Rosen, J. (2023). Scaling STEM-ID—Research Strategies to Inform Initial Scaling of Middle School Engineering Curricula. Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) 2023.