A Safety Study on Educators of Technological and Engineering Design-Based Instruction in K-12 STEM Related Courses

Tyler S. Love, Mark D. Threeton, Kenneth R. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fostering experiential learning experiences that allow students to apply their design thinking skills is important for developing technological and engineering (T&E) literacy. However, K-12 schools must ensure that educators providing these experiential T&E experiences are adequately prepared and supported to maintain a safer teaching and learning environment. Therefore, this study examined the safety characteristics of 191 K-12 educators from the northeastern United States (U.S.) who were teaching core T&E disciplinary standards and practices within various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) contexts. Analyses revealed there was a significantly higher proportion of accident occurrences in northeastern STEM related classes compared to other regions of the U.S. Further analyses identified 10 risk factors that were significantly associated with increased accident occurrences, and two protective factors that were significantly associated with decreased accident occurrences. Moreover, there were significant differences in the types of safety training completed by educators in the northeast compared to educators from other regions of the U.S. Taking all of this into account, it was discovered that when controlling for significant safety risk factors, safety protective factors, and completion of undergraduate coursework that covered safety topics, the odds of an accident occurrence decreased by 83%. This research has the potential to assist educators, administrators, school systems, state education departments, teacher preparation programs, and others with identifying safety areas of concern and to provide safer T&E teaching and learning experiences. Additionally, this research could inform efforts to help students develop safer habits, which they will carry into higher education programs and the workplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-52
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Technology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering

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