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EiE Research Results | Professional Development | Tuesday, October 20

Innovative Approach to EiE PD Puts a Coach in the Classroom

One of the very first organizations to become part of Engineering is Elementary’s national network of professional development (PD) providers was the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). Since then, SMM educators have developed an innovative (and highly effective) approach to EiE PD. It’s called an “immersion residency.”

A typical teacher workshop takes you out of your classroom, to attend a training someplace else. With immersion residencies, SMM sends an experienced EiE educator right to your classroom, to teach an EiE curriculum unit over the course of several days while you observe and then co-teach. There’s also time for you to discuss and ask questions. SMM evaluators say this up-close-and-personal approach is getting great results!

EiE Research Results | Tuesday, October 18

STEM Curriculum Study Will Show "What Works" in Elementary Engineering

Three years ago, in August of 2012, EiE launched a new research project called “Exploring the Efficacy of Elementary Engineering,” or E4 for short. It’s what researchers call a “gold standard” efficacy study—a controlled research study designed to tease out exactly what it is that makes an elementary engineering curriculum effective. The large-scale investigation is supported by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This month, our research team wraps up the “field work” phase of the E4 investigation. Our crew has been collecting data from nearly 600 classrooms in three states (Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina). In other words, we're following more than 14,000 students as they have their first experiences with classroom engineering.

EiE Research Results | Tuesday, July 7

Studying How Teachers Respond to Failure in the Engineering Classroom

The word “theory” has a precise meaning for scientists . . .  and often a different meaning for politicians (“An evidence-based explanation of a phenomenon” versus “Oh, it’s just a hunch”). In much the same way, the word “failure” seems to have one meaning in the engineering workplace and another in school (“Failure is normal, it helps you learn” versus “You got a failing grade”).

“As we bring engineering into elementary classrooms, we are bringing in a new way of thinking and speaking about failure,” says Dr. Pam Lottero-Perdue, an associate professor of science education at Towson University with a background in engineering. “Teachers will need to understand BOTH ways of thinking about failure—to become guides who help students navigate that border crossing.”

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