Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States

Areas of Interest:

Education, Understanding Engineering

Project Type:

FACA Compliant Consensus Study

Latest Update: August 2, 2013
The study report, Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects, reviews the scope and impact of K-12 engineering education in the United Statestoday and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills.
Primary Contact: Greg Pearson
202.334.2282

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenonmenon that may have implications not only for engineering but also for the other “STEM” subjects—science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics; increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers; boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career; and increase the technological literacy of all students.

This project, overseen jointly by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, aimed to provide guidance to key stakeholders regarding the creation and implementation K-12 engineering curricula and instructional practices, focusing especially on the connections among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

The 2009 project report, Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects, reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. It also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the congnitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills. The report   was the basis of legislation introduced in 2009 in both the House and Senate to fund curriculum and teacher professional development that would expand access to engineering education for U.S. primary and secondary students.

This study, and another just-completed project on the topic of standards for K-12 engineering education, are part of a portfolio of work at the NAE that examines the role of policy and education in improving technological literacy and interesting more young people in careers in engineering.

Related Links
  • [Speech]

    October 22, 2009

    Engineering in K-12 Education Testimony

    Engineering in K-12 Education Testimony given by Linda Katehi Read More

  • [Press Release]

    September 8, 2009

    New Report Calls for Improvements and Expansion of K-12 Engineering Education

    K-12 Engineering Education Report Press Release Read More

  • [Event]

    September 8, 2009 08:30 AM – 04:15 PM

    National Academies Auditorium,

    Washington, DC

    Symposium on K-12 Engineering Education

    Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the present scope and impact of K-12 engineering education and makes recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues.  This symposium marked the release of the report with a panel discussion with committee members and presentations ... Read More

  • [Print Publication]

    Engineering in K-12 Education

    For the United States to remain competitive in the global economy and to ensure that the country has a workforce (and citizenry) with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues, the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects in U.S. ... Read More

    Author: National Academy of Engineering & National Research Council

    Release Date: January 1, 2009

Project Status
Completed
Final Report

Engineering in K-12 Education

RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2009

COPYRIGHT: 2009

Open Report

Project Sponsor

S.D. Bechtel, Jr., Parametric Technology Corporation, Inc., National Science Foundation