The design process in an eighth grade science class
Joslyn, Pamela Jo
MetadataShow full item record
Engineering provides a framework in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems. There are many parallels to the application of science principles and engineering practices. Both rely on developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, engaging in arguments from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. While some students become engaged in the design process, scientific principles can be excluded from the engineering aspects. One unit of study was compared - a nontreatment group using no mathematics and computational thinking to facilitate the design process and a treatment group relying upon mathematics and computational thinking to the design process. The treatment unit required students to collect data and define scientific principles within the design process. Students were given pre-, mid-, and post-tests for the unit of study, an interest survey, and interviews were conducted. Both groups of students indicated the importance of using data in the design process. When students were required to use mathematics and computational thinking in the design process, the results suggested that students exhibited a slight improvement in test scores on the multiple choice and short answer responses. In the students' final reflections, many students expressed a greater appreciation for engineering.