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Museum of Science Engineering Curriculum Wins International Prize

October 20, 2014

The International Society for Design and Development in Education has awarded the 2014 ISDDE Prize to Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), the inquiry-based curriculum for grades K-5 developed by the Museum of Science, Boston. The prize, given for "for excellence in design for education in science or mathematics," was presented to Museum vice president and EiE director Christine Cunningham October 1 at the 2014 ISDDE conference in Cambridge, England.

"Engineering is Elementary has moved the field of educational design forward by providing proof of concept that even young children in ordinary classrooms can learn to love engineering," says Elizabeth Stage, director of the Lawrence Hall of Science and an ISDDE fellow. Developed at the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), EiE serves as a model for curriculum projects around the world.

"The ISDDE Prize recognizes pioneers, the ones who are not afraid to blaze new trails that no one else has taken," says David Heil, founding president of the Foundation for Family Science and Engineering. "Christine and her colleague, Museum of Science president and director Ioannis Miaoulis, have been way ahead of the crowd in their thinking about elementary engineering."

Developed with corporate support and a grant from the National Science Foundation, EiE is supported by research that suggests students develop a more accurate understanding of what "engineering" means, show increased interest in engineering careers, and have deeper understanding of engineering and science principles. Research also shows the curriculum is engaging for all children, including those from underrepresented populations.

"We are deeply honoured to receive this recognition from ISDDE," says Cunningham. "One of our key aims with EiE was to help close the 'achievement gap,' so it's particularly gratifying to see new research from other institutions such as the University of North Carolina, Greensboro provide evidence that EiE may promote classroom equity." The prize includes a $10,000 award which the EiE team will use to support deserving educators.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

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