Bridging the Gap Between Engineering Design and PK-12 Curriculum Development Through the use the STEM Education Quality Framework

  • margaret pinnell
  • james rowley
  • Sandra Preiss
  • Suzanne Franco
  • Rebecca Blust
  • Renee Beach
Keywords: , STEM Education Quality Framework, Engineering Design, Innovation, Curriculum


This paper will describe a unique partnership among the Department of Teacher Education and School of Engineering at the University Someplace (U?) and the Town Regional STEM Center (?RSC). This partnership resulted in the development of the STEM Education Quality Framework (SQF), a tool to guide educators in teaching, learning and refining STEM education. The SQF resulted in a variety of educational tools, including a STEM curriculum template, that was implemented in the ?RSCs teacher professional development and curriculum development program entitled the STEM Fellow Program. The STEM Fellow program was later modeled in a unique, NSF sponsored six week program for K-12 STEM teachers and pre-service teachers entitled Engineering Innovation and Design for STEM Teachers. The objectives of this program were to enhance the knowledge of teachers about engineering innovation and design, to empower them to provide their students inspirational engineering and innovation experiences as well as better inform their students of potential career fields and societal needs. During the pilot year, ten teachers and five pre-service teachers were placed on teams with an engineering student, engineering faculty and industrial mentor. The teams participated in a variety of activities including an introductory engineering innovation and design project as well as a more in-depth design project provided by the industrial mentor. Results from both qualitative and quantitative assessment suggest that this program was successful at meeting the program objectives.