Engineering For Everyone
AE3 consists of researchers, teachers, industry and K-12 schools district partners, and policy makers with a shared vision to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to think, learn, and act like an engineer.
Engineering literacy is the confluence of content knowledge, habits, and practical skills merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think, and perform in a way that is meaningful within the context of engineering. Engineering literacy is achieved through the Engineering Habits of Mind that students should develop over time through repetition and conditioning, Engineering Practices in which students should become competent, and Engineering Knowledge that students should be able to recognize and access to inform their engineering practice.
Dimensions of Engineering Literacy
A Vision for P-12 Engineering Learning
In 2016, AE3 launched the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning project to afford leaders a dynamic platform to (a) pursue a vision for P-12 engineering education, (b) establish a coherent curricular structure for the three dimensions of engineering literacy, and (c) conduct research on the learning of engineering concepts/skills to better understand how to achieve engineering literacy for all.
Engineering Literacy for All Students
The goal of Engineering Literacy for All is to ensure that every student, regardless of their race, gender, ability, socioeconomic status, or career interests, has the opportunity to develop these three dimensions to become informed citizens who are capable of adapting to and thriving in the workplace and society of the future. Therefore, by the end of secondary school all students should be provided the learning experiences necessary to (1) orient their ways of thinking by developing Engineering Habits of Mind and (2) be able to competently enact the Engineering Practices. The Engineering Knowledge dimension is defined as the scientific, mathematical, and technical core concepts that students should appreciate and be able to draw upon, when appropriate, to better perform the practices of engineering. One would not expect a student to fully understand each of the Engineering Knowledge core concepts in depth by the end of secondary school. But, to be engineering literate individuals, they will be able to deploy their Engineering Habits of Mind as the thinking strategies to acquire and apply the appropriate Engineering Knowledge, along with their competence in Engineering Practice, to confront and solve the problems in which they encounter.
In 2018, the project released Engineering: A National Imperative, a one-page position statement to act as a "call to action" to the engineering and education community. Once initiated, the first objective of the project was to engage experienced teachers and content experts in the development of a Taxonomy of Concepts for Engineering and the formation of a Progression of Learning in Engineering structure to support future work toward engineering standards development.
Engineering: A National Imperative
Towards A Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning
National educational content standards in science and technology have included engineering practices and content as way to facilitate design-based, engineering learning experiences in the classroom. Previous standards, however, may provide a too narrow of a view to adequately describe authentic engineering, specifically with concern to engineering content and competencies beyond design. An epistemological foundation for P-12 engineering is the first step towards realizing engineering as a defined subject. A Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning will to help ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn, think, and act like an engineer. Visit the AE3 Connect page for project updates.