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Teachers Learn to "Engineer the Future" at Museum of Science

April 16, 2014

As STEM education gains traction around the world, introducing engineering-focused curricula into the classroom is more important than ever. With that in mind, dozens of educators met at the Museum of Science, Boston in March to share their experiences teaching the high school Engineering the Future® curriculum, created by the Museum and published by pioneering STEM education company, IT'S ABOUT TIME®.

The textbook is written from the perspective of practicing engineers. Thirty-two men and women from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds discuss what it's like to be an engineer. These first-person stories teach students important concepts that relate to their own design projects. Students learn important skills like making scale drawings, building and testing prototypes, and combining components into systems, also developing critical thinking and collaboration skills to help them succeed in future science and engineering courses.

The special event, hosted by IT'S ABOUT TIME co-founders and co-presidents Laurie Kreindler and Tom Laster, featured remarks by Dr. Cary Sneider, who led development of Engineering the Future and served as lead for engineering education on the writing team for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Sneider is Associate Research Professor at Portland State University in Oregon, where he teaches research methodology in the Master of Science Teaching program.

Educators Lee Pulis and Johanna Bunn, who also helped develop the curriculum, joined Dave Roberts, who teaches engineering at Westfield Vocational Technical High School in Westfield, Mass., an enthusiastic adopter of the curriculum, and other educators. They explored how Engineering the Future aligns with the NGSS, sharing best practices, students' successes, and strategies for making Engineering the Future even better in future editions.

A prevalent theme was the students' accomplishments through interactive engineering projects. "Teachers love that it's hands-on and engages students who otherwise wouldn't be interested in engineering," says IT'S ABOUT TIME's Alexis Farrell. "They said their students could envision how to use these skills in real life."

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500