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 NAE 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
  • Beth Cady, 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, PictureBookWoman.com
    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
  • 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 ...
    5 Answers
    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
    Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin
    Posted Monday, January 11, 2016 at 9:20 PM
    Dr. Strobel, thank you for your response! Yes, I've heard about Purdue's EPICS program. I learned of it when I was applying to Purdue's Engineering Education program. The EPICS model is very impressive and I hope they develop this program further!
    Read More
    Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin
    Posted Monday, January 11, 2016 at 9:14 PM
    Hi Mr. Huffman, thank you so much for the resource! That's fantastic! I love the themes/goals the units work towards. Does your organization have any other plans to develop any other similar units/projects, aside from the ones currently in development? 
    Read More
  • Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin

    Posted Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    As Jennifer Love and I make steady progress on developing our shoe design curriculum unit, I was curious what the community thought would be the best format for an engineering lesson? I'm familiar with a variety of lesson plan formats but none of them really seem ideal or terribly fitting for an engineering design lesson/unit, so I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions for this. I know there isn't necessarily one model, and really as long as all the necessary elements a teacher ...
    4 Answers
    Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin
    Posted Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 3:48 AM
    Mr. Huffman,
    
    Thank you so much for  the resource and reference! I had heard of the 5E model previously, but I hadn't known it was further modified into the 6E model to include engineering! That's wonderful, and I will certainly read and learn more ...
    Read More
    Posted Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 4:51 PM
    Hi Sneha,
    Having a strong instructional model can help immensely with lesson development and format. The basic premise of the 6E Learning byDeSIGN™ Model was to develop a student-centered model that would blend design (context and concepts) and inquiry. ...
    Read More
    Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin
    Posted Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 12:32 AM
    Mr. Soltys,
    
    Thank you so much for the recommendation! Jennifer and I certainly do plan on submitting our unit on TeachEngineering.org. I will be sure to reach out to you with any questions as we get closer to submission time.
    
    Sincerely,
    Sneha
    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 ...

    4 Answers
    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: http://www.k12engineering.net/transcripts/ep35.html
    
    For our conversation, we were two engineers working in education and a science teacher working in educational leadership.  ...
    Read More
    Lynn Farrin, Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance
    Posted Friday, December 4, 2015 at 2:45 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 is such an ...
    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
  • Pius Wong, Pios Labs

    Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Overall I'm researching the questions: "How has the demand for engineering teachers changed over time?", "What types of schools are seeing the biggest demand?", and "Do engineering teachers face a welcoming job market?".   I intend to bring up some of this topics in an episode of a new podcast dedicated to K12 engineering education ("The K12 Engineering Education Podcast").  I'm open to contacting people who are experts in this and to researching relevant databases.  So far I'm aware of ...
    3 Answers
    Phillip Coleman, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 3:49 PM
    Jennifer-
    If you'd like I can connect you to someone in the NAE with that information.
    Jennifer Love, Northeastern University
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:42 PM
    I'd be interesting in learning what you find out!  I'm an engineering educator asking myself the same question about how the K-12 job market for engineering teachers is changing.  I'll be sure to listen to your upcoming podcast!
    Phillip Coleman, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 9:08 AM
    Hello Prius, I saw your e-mail you carbon copied to me. I'm glad that you got in touch with Beth because she is the person to answer that question. 
  • Phillip Coleman, National Academy of Engineering

    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    3 Answers
    Janet Anderson, Walsh Middle School
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 2:10 PM
    I would say most of the time they are engaged....and I don't always give them a "Things to Look for" sheet. I think the visual of the video (if it's done well in an engaging way), helps this age group see concepts that they may not "get" otherwise and ...
    Read More
    Phillip Coleman, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:39 PM
    Thanks Janet-
    Do you find that your students are engaged or that they only do the specific notes on the "Things to Look for" 
    Janet Anderson, Walsh Middle School
    Posted Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:30 PM
    Hello Phillip - 
    I'm a middle school Tech Ed teacher in a Computer Lab (grade 6, 7, 8). In my classes I include a lot of topics including Computer Applications as well as some pre-engineering topics. I don't have these classes for a full term, so I find ...
    Read More
  • Maribeth Keitz, National Academy of Engineering

    Posted Friday, February 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Watch the new Covering Engineers like Celebs video. Tell us what you think.

    3 Answers
    Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting
    Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 12:48 PM
    I like the video and don’t mind confessing that I also like pop culture TV programs like E! Entertainment. There is something rather addictive about how pop culture uses fast-paced features to draw us in to what’s happening. I think what we need is MORE ...
    Read More
    Elizabeth Parry, Elizabeth Parry Consulting
    Posted Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:03 PM
    I loved this video, and love the work Viterbi does to promote engineering.  In today’s digital environment, this is a great and approachable way to share what engineers can do.  
    
    I believe a great need for our society is to use the word “engineering” ...
    Read More
    Posted Friday, February 26, 2016 at 4:26 PM
    Very cool video that takes a fun approach to spark conversation around a serious societal issue. Got to love the Andrew Viterbi reference at the end.
    
    Pop culture is a tough nut to crack. Public perception is volatile at best. I think that we should ...
    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
  • 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
  • Amelia Greer, National Academy of Engineering asked Beth Cady, National Academy of Engineering

    Posted Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    2 Answers
    Amelia Greer, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 2:19 PM
    Certainly.  The NAE is hosting a “Forum on Proposed Revisions to ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) General Criteria on Student Outcomes and Curriculum (General Criteria 3 and 5)”  at the Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, DC on Tuesday, ...
    Read More
    Beth Cady, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM
    I had not... can you please give me more information? 
  • Phillip Coleman, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Monday, July 18, 2016 at 2:18 PM
    Cary-
    
    Do you think Tony Stark has any merit in the classroom?
    Cary Sneider, Portland State University
    Posted Friday, July 15, 2016 at 12:16 PM
    Both of these men are portrayed as lone inventors.  Tony Stark is fictional, Edison is not.  So we can examine Edison's life to draw some tentative conclusions about how realistic the "lone inventor" vision really is.  In fact, Edison lead a large team ...
    Read More
  • Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    Chevron has a big interest in engineering, so I ask how can students be motivated to explore the chemical/biochemical engineering area with little resources available for high school students?
    2 Answers
    Posted Monday, April 27, 2015 at 10:19 AM
    Chemical and biomedical engineering are an integral part of the profession. As the resources grow, expect to find more that apply directly to these areas. Food, medicines, paints, prosthetics, and many other applications are directly related to these ...Read More
    Posted Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:45 AM
    The American Chemical Society is a tremendous organization, that, at least in our area, has a very active professional section that is more than willing to conduct and support educational outreach, when requested. There may be chemists and chemical ...Read More
  • Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    As a Technology and Engineering Teacher Educator, have you been able to identify and use any of the inservice or preservice resources from the website? 
    2 Answers
    Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM
    Aaron, Thank you for the response and thoughts moving forward!. 
    Aaron Clark, North Carolina State University
    Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 10:43 AM
    We have used the resources in a limited way to this point.  Pre-service has reviewed some materials in our introduction methods courses and at the graduate level we have reviewed the materials in a few courses, again, very limited to this point.  Our ...
    Read More
  • Ashok Agrawal, American Society for Engineering Education asked Paul Ainslie, I-STEM Resource Network

    Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Dr. Ainslie,  As you know just about every state and university has a STEM center named entity. Is there a national standard or coordination on when an organization calls itself 'A STEM Center", they all follow certain prescribed set of activities and programs for the citizenry (teachers and students) of the state?  Is there a national accreditation standards for "STEM Centers"? 
    2 Answers
    Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering
    Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 at 3:43 PM
    I would add that the casual and wide use of the STEM acronym to mean often very different things has contributed to a sense of confusion and scatteredness in this domain.  The question of "What is STEM?" was addressed by the National Academies in a ...
    Read More
    Paul Ainslie, I-STEM Resource Network
    Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 at 2:29 PM
    I believe the only rule on state-identified STEM centers is the first one to claim it gets the name.  However, there are a few multistate groups which link such organizations, including STEMx at Battelle in Columbus, OH, and the Midwest STEM Consortium ...
    Read More
  • Jennifer Love, Northeastern University asked Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin

    Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    I saw your "Works in Progress" posting on LinkEngineering and I am thrilled that you would like to develop an athletic footwear friction unit.  I was a Performance Engineer at Reebok International in Massachusetts for 8 years and I specialized in traction design and friction testing of tennis, running, basketball, soccer, football, golf, walking, cross-training and casual shoes so I would be interested in working with you.  How much research have you done in this area, in terms of what the ...
    2 Answers
    Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 6:01 PM
    Hi Sneha!
    I have a powerpoint about the engineering of shoes that I have put together.  I would love to share it with you in exchange for your unit!
    laurab@ncsu.edu
    Sneha Tharayil, University of Texas at Austin
    Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 12:57 PM
    Jennifer,
    
    Thank you so much for reaching out to me! I would LOVE to work with you. It was my biggest wish and desire to have professional engineers in the field to help evaluate lessons and provide real feedback to student projects. I hadn't done much ...
    Read More
  • Shelley Latham, Linkengineering.org

    Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Use this space for questions and comments before or after the webinar on April 17, 2018. To register: http://bit.ly/2q0Zl5s 
    2 Answers
    Jessica Gonzalez, The Broach School of Zephyrhills
    Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 2:53 PM
    Is there a way to get proof/documentation of attendance for the webinar? I would like to use these webinars for professional development hours.
    
    Also, thank you for having these webinars! I am looking forward to future ones! Especially if there is more ...
    Read More
    Gayle Gibson, DuPont (Retired)
    Posted Monday, April 9, 2018 at 1:54 PM
    With all of Cary's expertise, what has he found most challenging about teaching engineering to pK-12?
  • 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 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 12:47 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 ...
    2 Answers
    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