Ask a Question

Welcome to Ask A Question!

This is the place where you can ask those questions you still have about PreK-12 engineering and how the website might address those needs. You can read profiles of experts and educators in the Community Member section and ask them a question directly, or you can submit a question here to have LinkEngineering staff try to find the right person to answer you.

Ask a Question
Search Questions & Answers
  • Posted Friday, October 31, 2014 at 11:58 AM
    This website is designed precisely to help solve this problem, the need to match needs with expertise. I used to run integrated STEM summer institutes in Idaho, and now I’m trying to replicate that here in Utah. I know Texas is a hotbed of STEM reform, ...Read More
  • Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 7:50 AM
    When doing a design challenge it is important to think of the following: - What are the opportunities for integrated math and science, and how can I expand upon it? - What is the math that I can "push" in, that is not integrated (asking students to be ...Read More
    Posted Monday, April 13, 2015 at 11:35 PM
    Keeping it simple, real world application to their world. I have taught middle school for 17 years, and I have found that students need to see the concepts presented in their real world perspective so they can make a connection. I taught how to use a ...Read More
    Cary Sneider, Portland State University
    Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 9:54 AM
    As a friendly amendment to Mitchell’s response, I suggest not only going through more than one design cycle by improving on a solution, but also presenting students with more than one challenge, so they need to apply the concept in in different contexts. ...Read More
  • Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Friday, April 17, 2015 at 2:09 PM
    Meg: Great question! At the moment, the list of schools you see represents those institutions known by NAE staff, through other projects we've done, to be engaged in some substantial way in delivering engineering coursework. We know this list is ...Read More
  • Posted Monday, April 13, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    I have pointed out in my power point,  "Artistic Inquiry in the Sciences" (which culminated from a workshop visit to the Rhode Island School Of Design) that Art appreciation is needed to assist future scientists in engineering design. However, access to the needed resources to promote this perspective is difficult in the High School;Public Schools.
    2 Answers
    Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Friday, April 17, 2015 at 2:26 PM
    Alexander: Let me also suggest you contact another LE pioneer user, Jeff Lonnett, who has been weaving engineering design into his art classes. I believe his email is listed in his profile. If not, please contact me and I will connect you ...Read More
    Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Friday, April 17, 2015 at 2:23 PM
    Alexander: There are many ways universities can interact with local PreK-12 schools around STEAM. (I am assuming the "A" you've added to STEM is for the arts.) Some invite teachers on campus for workshops or longer summer internships. Others have ...Read More
  • Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin

    Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    I only see the "bookmark" icon for only a few posts here and there throughout the site. However, I can't do that with other content, for example like this blog post by Greg Pearson It would be nice to be able to collect/pin things into our own profile homepage hub so that we don't have to search for it again. Similarly, having a "follow" option to follow a certain member/group/topic etc. would be great. 
    2 Answers
    Beth Cady, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 3:44 PM
    For now the only items you can bookmark to your profile are those in the lesson plans/projects, professional development, or pre-service learning resource collections. We will be enabling the functionality to bookmark other items (like blog posts) and ...Read More
    Beth Cady, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Friday, May 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM
    Hello Sneha, We are working on the functionality of the pins/bookmarks as well as the ability to follow people. I will post the answers once I have them.
  • Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin

    Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    I know this is a fantastic portal where students can receive feedback on their design projects from a global community of STEM educators. However, it would also be really great for students if they could get input from those working in industry, and I was wondering if the Innovation Portal allows for that, and if so, how do they vet the "expertise" level of those providing such feedback? I LOVE the idea of the Innovation Portal though, and plan on exploring it more. Thanks for ...
    3 Answers
    Posted Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 11:22 AM

    Hayx try this challenging game.Run 3 is an endless runner game where you need to navigate your little alien through space

    Mark Schroll, Project Lead The Way
    Posted Monday, January 4, 2016 at 3:34 PM
    Hi Sneha.  Students can indeed receive feedback on their work right through the Innovation Portal.  This kind of connection and feedback is done through the portal every day.  The one catch is that you would have to be invited by  the student to connect ...
    Read More
    Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 2:55 PM
    Sneha: I believe that the PLTW Innovation Portal can be configured in a variety of ways to serve the needs of individual users. For example, it is being used in a number of states to judge student work in STEM competitions, which suggests that "judge" ...Read More
  • Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 at 8:55 PM

    He's relatively new so doesn't have much teaching experience - and no engineering expertise.  THank you!
    1 Answers
    Beth Cady, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 2:54 PM
    There are some lesson plans posted on the TeachEngineering website ( You can browse by topic and find instructions for incorporating the lesson into your classroom.
  • Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    How do you acquire the needed resources to pursue the possible engineering projects? Does it depend greatly on the type of engineering?
    2 Answers
    Posted Friday, May 1, 2015 at 11:41 AM
    At the high school level and before, it's best to focus on engineering "habits of mind," as people say these days. That means focusing on the design process more than a particular discipline or areas of technical content. The design process is the secret ...Read More
    Posted Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:39 AM
    High school students are very rarely informed enough to select one engineering discipline over another, and rarely need to prior to being in college, because of the design of most college and university engineering programs. Additionally, new fields and ...Read More
  • Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 4:23 PM
    Hi Tiffany.
    Leigh Abts at the University of Maryland has worked in this area for years.  I would encourage you to email him and ask for his set of resources.  Abts, Leigh R.
    Abts, Leigh R.
    Research Associate Professor
    Fischell Department of ...
    Read More
    Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting
    Posted Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 5:45 PM
    The Afterschool Alliance produced a paper, Digital Badges in Afterschool, which describes case studies of five digital badging pilot projects run through the Afterschool Alliance and the statewide afterschool networks in Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, ...
    Read More
    Mark Schroll, Project Lead The Way
    Posted Friday, August 28, 2015 at 6:50 PM
    Hi Tiffany,
    The Innovation Portal is a free, online project portfolio application that may be of interest.  Here is a description of the portal and its functionality and a link to the site.  “The Innovation Portal enables students, teachers, and ...
    Read More
  • Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin

    Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Coming from a Catholic school teaching background, there was a heavy emphasis on social justice and community-oriented curricula. In thinking about engineering design projects for my students, I always thought this was a good theme to incorporate because not only did it align with our school's mission, but this was a great way to emphasize the authenticity and relevancy of curricula for students. Furthermore, I believe that this is an excellent way to emphasize social/community ...
    7 Answers
    Kaylin Griham, Lon Don
    Posted Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 3:05 AM

    The Bank of Compliments solves the problem we identified by making our peers feel good with compliments. Students can reach into the top of the box and get a compliment. They light up the box if they like the compliment they have. If they don't like ...

    Read More
    Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 5:04 PM

    You touch on a very important topic, really at school, you need to talk about social justice and social responsibility, now many students have mental problems, this is due to the transitional age and of course upbringing. Psychological problems at this ...

    Read More
    Posted Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 3:34 PM
    I also work at a Catholic school - a high school - where I coordinate our STEMM program.  I'm an engineer by formal education but have worked in K-12 STEM education for 20 years.
    One resource for service-connected engineering projects for college and ...
    Read More
  • Kate Gramling, Illumineer

    Posted Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM


    Movies and television programs influence the ideas and opinions people develop about professions - particularly young people with little or no personal experience or role models to compare with what they see on various screens. This reality was the motivation for the recently completed "Next MacGyver" contest.

    Before we can build on good ideas students have developed about engineering - or replace the bad ones - we should ...

    5 Answers
    Posted Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 2:54 AM

    I love the last scene of the movie, it's so moving. Fall guys is an online game between a bunch of 60-person contestants in a life-or-death battle. Each round you will need to overcome strange challenges and must do your best to overcome it before ...

    Read More
    Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    The first thing that popped into my head when I read this question was the movie "The Martian." What stood out to me, in addition to the incredible technological solutions showcased, was the perseverance exhibited by the main character - that ...

    Read More
    Pius Wong, Pios Labs
    Posted Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 11:47 AM
    This is a late answer, but we discussed this for our latest podcast episode:
    For our conversation, we were two engineers working in education and a science teacher working in educational leadership.  ...
    Read More
  • Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting asked Jill Hubbard, Tigard Tualatin School District/South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership

    Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    Jill, I lead Techbridge, a nonprofit in Oakland, CA that supports girls in engineering and am always interested in hearing of the successes and challenges of encouraging more girls (especially those who are most underrepresented in STEM) to give engineering and CS a try. When they do they often find that they do like it.
    1 Answers
    Jill Hubbard, Tigard Tualatin School District/South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
    Posted Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 11:08 PM
    Interesting question. I'm involves with a national movement called CSforAll designed to encourage non-traditional students to participate in computer science.   Initially, my approach was to specifically recruit students but as time went on, I started to ...
    Read More
  • Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting asked Yvonne Spicer, Museum of Science

    Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    From experience, I know that some families may not feel welcome and need more personal and customized encouragement to come to museums. I would love to hear your experience and lessons learned. When I started Techbridge at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA we learned that loved the museum once they came, but needed special encouragement.
    0 Answers
  • Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting asked Kavita Chandra, Northwestern

    Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    I love reading of your commitment to outreach. Role models are so important for helping dispel stereotypes about who does engineering and what engineering is all about. They are especially important for kids who are most underrepresented in engineering. How do you get support to do your mentoring with community partners?
    1 Answers
    Kavita Chandra, Northwestern
    Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 2:06 PM
    I have been a mentor for many years with a broad age range of mentees, from young children up to the undergraduate level. Regardless of the age, a mentor-ship relationship is symbiotic. It is important to understand what both the mentee and mentor would ...
    Read More
  • Ted Willard, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) asked Scott Spector, Santa Barbara County Office of Education

    Posted Monday, November 30, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    I noticed on your profile that you are interested implementing NGSS in the classroom. As you are probably very aware, many teachers aren't sure how they should go about incorporating engineering design into instruction. What strategies have you used with teachers?
    1 Answers
    Scott Spector, Santa Barbara County Office of Education
    Posted Monday, March 28, 2016 at 4:40 PM
    Sorry, just getting to this answer as it seemed to have found its' way into my spam folder and just catching up with it now.  Are there any sites that you know of that would offer some good activities for teachers to practice incorporating either ...
    Read More
  • Nancy Ruzycki, University of Florida
    Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 3:35 PM
    Hi Laura-
    Funny you should ask. I am working on trying to develop a lab for students using the FLIR ONE for iPhone and Andriod. I thought kids could use the cameras to record heat transfer in a material. Unfortunately, the temp range is limited -20 to ...
    Read More
  • Iteea Account, National Academy of Engineering

    Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Toys that promote engineering habits of mind have been around for many years, and new toys are being developed every year. What was your favorite engineering toy as a child? What is your favorite recent toy?
    7 Answers
    Kate Gramling, Illumineer
    Posted Monday, January 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    I really don’t remember playing with toys. I grew up on a farm where there was always something interesting to do outside. When the weather was bad, there were always books to read, which would inspire other adventures. Thinking about this question has ...

    Read More
    Deborah Fike, Spotkin
    Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 9:20 PM
    My 4 and 2 year old girls have "play tested" a lot of engineering toys.  By far and away, the most popular building toy with my children and their friends (and their parents) are Magna-Tiles, which are tiles with magnets that you can build with.   The ...
    Read More
    Pat Gramling,
    Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 4:24 PM
    Growing up in the 50’s I spent a lot of time following my dad around and “helping” with his tinkering. He was a great one for taking things you have and making something that would solve your problem or make your work easier. We still use the “Mole ...
    Read More
  • Tiffany Coulson, NLA Group asked Cary Sneider, Portland State University

    Posted Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    2 Answers
    Cary Sneider, Portland State University
    Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 2:40 AM
    Thanks for y our interest Tiffany.  Greg is right that school-level results are not announced.  The purpose of the assessment is to determine the educational level of the country (and in math and reading the level of states and major cities); but school ...
    Read More
    Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Monday, January 25, 2016 at 9:45 AM
    Hi, Tiffany.
    This is an excellent question. 
    As background to those who don't know, in 2014, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), an independent agency of the US Dept. of Education, conducted the first-ever assessment of technology and ...
    Read More