K-12 and university collaboration: A vehicle to improve curriculum and female enrollment in engineering and technology

Thomas Gralinski, Janis P. Terpenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In 1993, the State of Massachusetts enacted the Educational Reform Act to improve student performance and to increase school accountability. One of the curriculum frameworks of this initiative is titled Science and Technology/Engineering. One of the strands within that framework, Technology/Engineering, outlines standards in seven curriculum areas to be assessed at the high school level on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). This framework is somewhat controversial but supported by numerous surveys focusing on national needs. The movement of traditional Industrial Arts programs to a Technology/Engineering approach in both delivery and content has created a new set of problems with questions raised about the preparedness of existing Technology Education teachers to teach pre-engineering and engineering curricula. In addition there have been questions raised about the lack of female enrollment in engineering and technology classes. This paper describes the collaboration of Amherst Regional High School (ARHS) with faculty at the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College in addressing issues impinging the success of engineering and technology curricula. More specifically, this collaboration has focused on: reviewing and enhancing high school teacher's core knowledge of engineering design, the curricular changes made based on this study/research, and research of gender equity issues in engineering and technology curricula. Plans to recruit and retain female students in the technology/engineering area at both secondary and university levels are described; including, cross-institutional projects with an emphasis on assistive technologies and universal design, and a variety of outreach activities between institutions. A structure that provides for on-going collaboration between the local high school and area colleges is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5267-5275
Number of pages9
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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