A strong workforce in science and engineering and literate citizens in a technology-based society depends on an educational system that prepares students in science, mathematics, and engineering. Unfortunately, many K-12 students lose interest in such topics early in their school years. Engineering applications can capture the imagination of students and illustrate the concepts in science and mathematics. Level-appropriate resources are as necessary for primary teachers and our young scholars as for teachers and students in higher grades. A model for interaction between engineers and K-4 teachers is proposed. The State of Missouri defines curriculum standards in each subject area and assesses student performance three times during a student's education. The first assessment for science is in the third grade and for mathematics is in the fourth grade. These standards were examined from an engineering perspective. In addition, in-service primary teachers were surveyed to determine their background, needs, and attitudes regarding science, mathematics, and engineering. Early years of an effective technical curriculum must introduce the basic concepts and begin layering this understanding with detail and connectivity. Our model shows how engineering applications can provide hearing, seeing, and doing components, i.e. auditory, visual, and kinesthetic educational activities, within the recommended pedagogy. The approach involves in-service teachers throughout the development process, addresses state standards and testing criteria, and partners specialists in engineering content and teacher training.

Meeting Name

2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education (2003: Jun. 22-25, Nashville, Tennessee)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Second Department

English and Technical Communication


National Science Foundation (U.S)
American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE

Keywords and Phrases

Education Curriculum; Math and Science Partnership (MSP); Teacher Training; University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR); Curricula; Personnel Training; School Buildings; Teaching; Engineering Education

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2003 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003