Elementary teacher preparation programs are generally tightly packed, with limited room for additional coursework. As states adopt Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS ), the need for teacher education programs to provide meaningful exposure to engineering is growing, and a multitude of approaches can be taken to meet this need. While the topics of engineering and engineering design are typically incorporated into science teaching methods courses, this research presents an alternative approach where we expose elementary pre-service teachers to engineering prior to or concurrently with enrollment in their methods courses. Specifically, we describe here our efforts in building a 12-contact-hour non-credit short course – based upon NGSS-aligned learning outcomes – that was delivered to 10 students in fall 2016. We provide details on our approaches, including examples used in the course, and explain our decision to offer this as a short course instead of a full-semester course. We also report on results from the pre- and post-surveys which we used to assess student learning in the course, and to understand what aspects of the course needed improvement.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sriram_sundararajan/25/