Christine Cunningham

University of Texas at Arlington

With increased focus on STEM education for students with extensive support needs ESN, engineering practices highlight the importance of problem-solving skills (e.g., systems thinking, creativity), and engineering lessons/units may provide a viable format for systematically planned math and science instruction that naturally embeds opportunities to teach students skills promoting increased self-regulated learning. Due to lack of prior experience teaching engineering, little is known about how teachers of students with ESN scaffold instruction to build their students’ engineering practices. Thus, this project focuses on teachers’ development of engineering practices, including how teachers support their students’ development of engineering-focused behaviors and mindsets through instruction.

Museum of Science, Boston

This project is developing lessons to engage students in grades 1-5 in engineering activities integrated with their science lessons. The project addresses the need to develop a broad understanding of what engineers do and the uses and implications of the technologies they create. The goals of the project are to increase the technological literacy of the students and to increase elementary teacher’s understanding of technology and engineering, to enable them to teach these subjects.

Museum of Science, Boston

This project is developing evidence about the efficacy of the Engineering is Elementary curriculum under ideal conditions by studying the student and teacher-level effects of implementation. The project seeks to determine the core elements of the curriculum that support successful use. The findings from this study have broad implications for how engineering design curricular can be developed and implemented at the elementary level.