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Mon, August 17, 2015
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has launched a new website, LinkEngineering (www.linkengineering.org), intended to help PreK-12 educators in the United States implement engineering education in classrooms and out-of-school settings.
“LinkEngineering provides the first-ever platform for K-12 teachers and informal educators to work and learn as a community toward the goal of improving the reach and quality of U.S. precollege engineering education,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.
The NAE project, overseen by an expert committee (see below), is motivated by the increasing prevalence of PreK-12 engineering education in the United States. Compared with science and mathematics, engineering has had a limited presence in PreK-12 curriculum. However, efforts to highlight the field have steadily increased over the past 15 years. Further impetus for the LinkEngineering project is the recent publication of the Next Generation Science Standards, which create new expectations for science teachers to connect science learning with engineering design.
The NAE is partnering with five other organizations in this effort: Achieve Inc.; National Science Teachers Association; American Society for Engineering Education; International Technology and Engineering Educators Association; and Council of State Science Supervisors. The project is made possible by the generous support of Chevron.
“Chevron supports science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives that teach students how to analyze problems and build solutions through the same lens that our engineers use in the field—the engineering design process. Teachers and informal educators play a vital role in preparing all students with this knowledge and the critical skills they need for the careers of tomorrow. Under the leadership of the NAE, LinkEngineering provides a much needed resource and community of practice for these educators,” said Blair Blackwell, manager of education and corporate programs at Chevron.
Development of LinkEngineering is following an iterative process that builds on research and stakeholder input and mirrors the engineering design process. Front-end research conducted by the NAE in 2014, including regional stakeholder workshops and a national online survey, helped determine the site’s features, functionality, and content. Ongoing feedback from a subset of site users (“test team”) and a survey of all LinkEngineering members in the next year will inform further improvements.
The National Academy of Engineering, an independent, nonprofit organization, was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. Part of its mission is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. A committee roster follows.
Committee on Guiding Implementation of PreK–12 Engineering Education
Cary Sneider, Chair, Associate Research Professor, Portland State University
Ashok Agrawal, Managing Director for Professional Development, American Society for Engineering Education
Steve Barbato, Executive Director/CEO, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
Laura Bottomley, Director, Engineering Place for K–20 Engineering, North Carolina State University
Christine Cunningham, Vice President of Research, Boston Museum of Science
Bonnie Dunbar, Professor and Director of Aerospace Engineering and Leader of University STEM Center, University of Houston
Maurice Frazier, Teacher of Communication Technology and Graphic Communications, Oscar Smith High School, Chesapeake, Va.
Gayle Gibson, Director, Engineering, DuPont
Jacqueline Gish, Director of Advanced Technology, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (ret.)
Kris D. Gutierrez, Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley
Eric Jolly, President and CEO, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
Linda Kekelis, Executive Director, Techbridge
Peter McLaren, Director, State and District Support for Science, Achieve Inc.
Steve O’Brien, Associate Professor and Chair, Technological Studies Department, College of New Jersey
Darryll Pines, Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland
Stephen Pruitt, Senior Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve Inc.
Rick Sandlin, Director of Elementary Campus Operations, Texarkana Independent School District
Jacqueline Smalls, Manager, Science Curriculum Advancement Through Literacy Enhancement (SCALE), Center for Inspired Teaching, Maryland
Johannes Strobel, Director, Educational Outreach Programs and Associate Professor, Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution (College of Engineering) and Teaching, Learning, and Culture (College of Education), Texas A&M, College Station
Ted Willard, Program Director, National Science Teachers Association