Development and implementation of engineering modules into a 9th grade biochemistry class based on the NAE Grand Challenges

Kamau C. Wright, Stephanie Dunda, Jessica Ward, Mary Jo Grdna, Tim Kurzweg

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study reports the progress and impact of STEM education through innovative learning by having students answer curriculum based questions and participate in inquiry-based activities. This practice is based on the Drexel University National Science Foundation STEM K-12 program titled 'Catalyzing STEM Education via the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges.' In this program, collaboration between an engineering graduate fellow and a 9th grade high school biochemistry teacher results in engineering modules that include brief lessons, and hands-on activities to teach students about the NAE Grand Challenges. Students are asked open-ended questions in reference to proposing solutions to Grand Challenges, while also being encouraged to sketch quickly-made schematics to further illustrate their ideas. At the end of each module, students are tasked to complete brief surveys, for which the data are used to assess the effect of the modules on student perspectives of engineering, the Grand Challenges, and the fellow. This study reports on three dimensions of this initiative: the collaborative process between the high school teacher and the fellow when generating lessons; the descriptive details of several lesson modules and relation to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and an analysis of data collected through student survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7044373
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Issue numberFebruary
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015
Event44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2014 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 22 2014Oct 25 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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