MARCH 2007

2007 ITEA in San Antonio, Texas

ITEA!After only two and a half years, NCETE is significantly influencing the field of engineering and technology education.  The recent International Technology Education Association (ITEA) conference in San Antonio is an indicator of this influence.  Fifteen presentations were given by Center partners including such topics as Engineering Outcomes for High School, Making Engineering Work in Your School, Creative Engineering Activities for Elementary (Grades 4-6), Integrating Engineering Into Technology Teacher Education, African American Students’  Perceptions of Technical Careers, Global Insights on Engineering Design as Content, Manufacturing Engineering – A Lean Approach, Delivering Key Engineering Concepts Using STL, Technological Literacy and USU General Education Students.  There were also several posters presented by NCETE partners including Young Women’s Perceptions of Technology and Engineering, Delivering Core Engineering Concepts to Secondary Students, and Analysis of Preservice / Licensure Technology Education Programs in the US.

ITEA2At the ITEA conference, NCETE Program Officer, Karen Zuga, invited the NCETE fellows to participate in an NSF Special Interest Session.  The session was an excellent opportunity for the fellows to share a piece of empirical research they had worked on during the course of their PhD program.  The fellows  research posters discussed topics such as Cognitive Processes of High School Student Solving Ill-defined Technical Problems; Microgravity Environments: A Comparative Analysis of Expert and Novice Cognitive Reasoning Abilities; Roles of Mental Models in Engineering Re-design; and Expert and Novice Engineering Design Problem Solving: Implications for Technology Teacher Preparation;


NCETE Researchers Receive Award

AwardAt the recent International Technology Education Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, a team of NCETE researchers was recognized by the Council on Technology Teacher Education (CTTE) for their research on delivering core engineering concepts to secondary level students through the Council’s Outstanding Research Award. Research team members included Chris Merrill, Rodney Custer, Jenny Daugherty, Marty Westrick, and Yong Zeng. The study, involving eight Illinois high schools and 114 students, consisted of delivering a set of activities to students that were specifically designed to deliver COPA engineering concepts (constraints, optimization, and predictive analysis). The activities were developed by technology teachers with the assistance of science and mathematics teachers who participated in ISU’s teacher professional development activities over the past two years. Assessment included pre- and post-testing as well as a series of focus groups. Results of the study indicate that the instruction achieved significant gains in student learning of the COPA concepts across a spectrum of conceptual complexity. Significant learning gains were also achieved with students with varying degrees of mathematics and science background, which suggests that engineering concepts, properly formulated and delivered, can be delivered to students with diverse preparation backgrounds.

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This material is based on work supported by the
National Science Foundation Under Grant No. ESI-0426421