Introducing Engineering Education in the Middle School
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This paper first describes a new three-year, longitudinal project that is implementing engineering education in three middle schools in Australia (grade levels 7-9). This important domain is untapped in Australia. Hence, as a starting point, we conducted a context analysis to help situate engineering education in a school system. We report on this analysis with respect to findings from one of two literature-based surveys that gathered middle-school student responses in mathematics (n=172) and science (n=166) towards understanding their dispositions for engineering education. ANOVA indicated gender differences for 3 out of 23 items in both mathematics and science. In addition, the majority of students agreed or strongly agreed with 17 of the 23 survey items, however, there were some differences between mathematics and science. We conclude the paper with some recommendations for establishing engineering education in schools, including the development of partnerships among engineering and education faculties, school systems, and industry to develop contemporary engineering resources to support school-level mathematics, science, and technology.