The impact of Engineering Is Elementary (EIE) on students' attitudes toward engineering and science

Christine Cunningham, Cathy Lachapelle

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This paper probes whether students' attitudes toward engineering and science are impacted as a result of using Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curricular materials. It presents results from data an instrument that focused on measuring students' attitudes about and perceptions toward engineering. The Engineering Attitudes Survey was originally developed as an assessment of middle school students' knowledge of engineering and their attitudes toward it. The survey was adapted for EiE use. To measure the impact of EiE on students, the attitude survey was administered to a "test/EiE" group of students who used the EiE curriculum (students were taught an EiE unit and related science) and a "control" group whose students were taught related science, but did not use EiE materials. Data about student sex, race/ethnicity, and free and reduced lunch status were also collected. The attitudes instrument was administered to students in six states in a pre/post design. Results indicate that students who completed the EiE curriculum were significantly more likely to report interest in being an engineer on the post-survey than control students. They were also significantly more likely than control students to report interest in and comfort with engineering jobs and skills, and to agree that scientists and engineers help to make people's lives better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Event2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2010Jun 23 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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