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A Multiple Case Study on School Districts' Programmatic Approach to Integrating Engineering and Science Instruction

Elizabeth F. Hasseler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Since the launch of Sputnik by the U.S.S.R. on October 4, 1957, the United States has aimed to bolster nationwide STEM education with the intention of creating a strong STEM pipeline. Despite many efforts, there remains a distinct lack of diversity in the STEM career fields, and many people cannot accurately describe what engineers do. These two factors have led to engineering being integrated into the almost nationwide K-12 science standards with the intent of expanding access to engineering beyond a small number of electives in select districts into the core curriculum. This multiple case study investigated how six midwestern districts and their teachers addressed the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards, the current nationwide K-12 science standards, to integrate engineering with science at the programmatic level. It examined the supports those districts provided, including programs for students and the professional development experiences, and curricular materials for teachers. It also reviewed teachers’ engineering subject matter knowledge, professional development experiences around engineering, and the resources they used to integrate engineering into their lessons. The cases revealed that while all the districts attempted to incorporate science and engineering in a variety of ways, not all students were being consistently reached. Factors such as the districts’ location (rural or urban), the engineering subject matter knowledge of science teachers, professional development or other supports provided to teachers by the districts, and the coding of engineering and technology courses as electives by the state’s educational requirements all emerged as themes impacting consistency with which students had access to science and engineering integration.

Subject Area

Science education|Engineering

Recommended Citation

Hasseler, Elizabeth F., "A Multiple Case Study on School Districts' Programmatic Approach to Integrating Engineering and Science Instruction" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30000026.