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For many science teachers the integration of technology and engineering into the science curriculum will mean a new way of teaching, new concepts and skills for their students to learn, and new assessments that will measure their students’ progress and their own capabilities as teachers. The source of this concern is a publication by the National Research Council of a new blueprint for science education standards, appropriately titled A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts (NRC 2012). The Framework is currently severing as the blueprint for Next Generation Science Standards, aimed at replacing the current patchwork of state science standards with a common core, as has already been done in mathematics and English language arts. Since these documents raise engineering ...

Design Squad Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers
Design squad inspiring a new generation of engineers
Marisa Wolsky

Figure 1.1Design Squad TV Crew

Image courtesy of WGBH Educational Foundation.

In February 2007, the first kids' TV program dedicated to engineering premiered on PBS. Geared for upper elementary and middle school students, Design Squad pits two teams of teenagers against each other in high-energy, high-drama engineering competitions intended to solve real-world problems for real-world clients (see Figure 1.1). As a television series, Design Squad aims to inspire its young viewers—to show that engineering is accessible, doable, and most of all, fun. At the same time, Design Squad pushes the audience experience beyond passive viewing to include active, hands-on involvement in engineering activities. The television program is integrated into ...

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