Engineering education with fourth-grade students : Introducing design-based problem solving

Journal article


English, Lyn D. and King, Donna. (2017). Engineering education with fourth-grade students : Introducing design-based problem solving. International Journal of Engineering Education. 33(1), pp. 346-360.
AuthorsEnglish, Lyn D. and King, Donna
Abstract

This article reports on fourth-grade students' approaches to solving an introductory engineering design-based problem, namely, Tumbling Towers, which was implemented at the beginning of a three-year, longitudinal study. Set within a civil engineering context, the problem required student groups to design and then build the tallest tower within given constraints. The stability of their towers was tested by removing one pylon at a time, with the goal being to determine the minimum number needed for the tower to remain stable. Students completed a second design iteration in an effort to maximise the number of pylons that could be removed while still maintaining stability. A framework comprising five sets of engineering design processes was developed as a theoretical base and facilitated data analyses. Findings illustrate how fourth-grade students, for whom such problems were new, engaged in design processes in an iterative manner and applied mathematics and science content knowledge in doing so. Four levels of design were identified in the students' design sketches with the highest level being the most frequent in both initial designs and redesigns, with some decline in the latter. Students' application of content knowledge included an awareness of stability and load distribution, together with spatial reasoning involving pylon positioning, removal, and repositioning. Other findings include ways in which group negotiations and students' addition of meaningful contexts assisted in the designing and redesigning phases, and how students spontaneously used gestures to convey their design and construction ideas.

Keywordsdesign processes; engineering education; engineering-based problem solving; elementary/primary school
Year2017
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Journal citation33 (1), pp. 346-360
PublisherDublin Institute of Technology Tempus Publications
ISSN0949-149X
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range346-360
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print2017
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Oct 2016
Deposited07 Sep 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/LP120200023
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8wvxw/engineering-education-with-fourth-grade-students-introducing-design-based-problem-solving

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 39
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as

Related outputs

“This is the funniest lesson” : The production of positive emotions during role-play in the middle years science classroom
Henderson, Senka and King, Donna. (2021). “This is the funniest lesson” : The production of positive emotions during role-play in the middle years science classroom. In In White, Peta J., Raphael, Jo and van Cuylenburg, Kitty (Ed.). Science and drama : Contemporary and creative approaches to teaching and learning pp. 179-196 Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84401-1_11
Ghanaian science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs about gifted education strategies
Allotey, Gladys Ami, Watters , James J. and King, Donna. (2020). Ghanaian science and mathematics teachers’ beliefs about gifted education strategies. Gifted Education International. 36(3), pp. 250-265. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261429420946732
Using cogenerative dialogue to address heightened emotions with difficult students
Henderson, Senka, Oakley, Jennifer L. and King, Donna. (2020). Using cogenerative dialogue to address heightened emotions with difficult students. Cultural Studies of Science Education. 15(1), p. 99–110. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09948-5
Design learning in STEM education
English, Lyn D., Adams, Robin and King, Donna. (2020). Design learning in STEM education. In In Johnson, Carla C., Mohr-Schroeder, Margaret J., Moore, Tamara J. and English, Lyn D. (Ed.). Handbook of research on STEM education pp. 76-86 Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429021381-9
Planning in secondary-school science
King, Donna and Mills, Reece. (2019). Planning in secondary-school science. In In Dawson, Vaille, Venville, Grady and Donovan, Jennifer (Ed.). The art of teaching science : A comprehensive guide to the teaching of secondary school science pp. 84-104 Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003117896-8
Science
Mills, Reece and King, Donna. (2019). Science. In In Pendergast, Donna and Main, Katherine (Ed.). Teaching primary years : Rethinking curriculum, pedagogy and assessment pp. 202-218 Allen & Unwin.
Deep breathing as a mindfulness practice in year 10 science
King, Donna, Henderson, Senka and Sandhu, Maryam. (2019). Deep breathing as a mindfulness practice in year 10 science. In In Tobin, Kenneth (Ed.). Mindfulness in education pp. 91-101 Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429293832-9
STEM integration in sixth grade : Designing and constructing paper bridges
English, Lyn D. and King, Donna. (2019). STEM integration in sixth grade : Designing and constructing paper bridges. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. 17(5), pp. 863-884. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-018-9912-0
Using digital tools for assessment : Project with All Hallows’ School : Final report
Mukherjee, Michelle, King, Donna, Sandhu, Satwant and Satwant, Maryam. (2018). Using digital tools for assessment : Project with All Hallows’ School : Final report Brisbane, Qld: Queensland University of Technology.
STEM resources on demand (STEMROD) : Working with community/industry partners and pre-service teachers to develop “ready to use” resources for teachers
King, Donna, Lyons, Terry, Dawes, Les, Doyle, Tanya and O'Loughlin, Megan. (2018). STEM resources on demand (STEMROD) : Working with community/industry partners and pre-service teachers to develop “ready to use” resources for teachers. Teaching Science. 64(2), pp. 31-37.
Deep breathing as a mindfulness practice in year 10 science
King, Donna, Henderson, Senka and Sandhu, Maryam. (2018). Deep breathing as a mindfulness practice in year 10 science. Learning: Research and Practice. 4(1), pp. 91-101. https://doi.org/10.1080/23735082.2018.1428142
The resolution of frustration in middle school science classes : The role of the classroom teacher
Tomas, Louisa, King, Donna, Henderson, Senka, Rigano, Donna and Sandhu, Maryam. (2018). The resolution of frustration in middle school science classes : The role of the classroom teacher. In In Ritchie, Stephen M. and Tobin, Kenneth (Ed.). Eventful learning pp. 133-156 Brill Sense. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004377912_007
Science demonstrations as mediators of emotional experiences
Bellocchi, Alberto, Davis, James P. and King, Donna. (2018). Science demonstrations as mediators of emotional experiences. In In Ritchie, Stephen M. and Tobin, Kenneth (Ed.). Eventful learning : Learner emotions pp. 57-85 Brill Sense. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004377912_010
Managing emotions : Outcomes of a breathing intervention in year 10 science
King, Donna, Sandhu, Maryam, Henderson, Senka and Ritchie, Stephen M.. (2018). Managing emotions : Outcomes of a breathing intervention in year 10 science. In In Ritchie, Stephen M. and Tobin, Kenneth (Ed.). Eventful learning : Learner emotions pp. 193-216 Brill Sense. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004377912_010
Context-based learning in the middle years : Achieving resonance between the real-world field and environmental science concepts
King, Donna and Henderson, Senka. (2018). Context-based learning in the middle years : Achieving resonance between the real-world field and environmental science concepts. International Journal of Science Education. 40(10), pp. 1221-1238. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2018.1470352
Using digital tools for feedback in formative assessment of STEM learning
Corvan, Simon, Mukherjee, Michelle and King, Donna. (2018). Using digital tools for feedback in formative assessment of STEM learning. 5th International STEM in Education Conference. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia 21 - 23 Nov 2018 Queensland University of Technology. pp. 69-74
Temporality of emotion : Antecedent and successive variants of frustration when learning chemistry
King, Donna, Ritchie, Stephen M., Sandhu, Maryam, Henderson, Senka and Boland, Ben. (2017). Temporality of emotion : Antecedent and successive variants of frustration when learning chemistry. Science Education. 101(4), pp. 639-672. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21277
Advancing integrated STEM learning through engineering design : Sixth-grade students’ design and construction of earthquake resistant buildings
English, Lyn D., King, Donna and Smeed, Joanna. (2017). Advancing integrated STEM learning through engineering design : Sixth-grade students’ design and construction of earthquake resistant buildings. The Journal of Educational Research. 110(3), pp. 255-271. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2016.1264053
Designing an optical instrument : A culminating STEM activity for a primary science light unit
King, Donna and English, Lyn. (2016). Designing an optical instrument : A culminating STEM activity for a primary science light unit. Teaching Science. 62(4), pp. 15-24.
Designing an earthquake-resistant building
English, Lyn D. and King, Donna T.. (2016). Designing an earthquake-resistant building. Teaching Children Mathematics. 23(1), pp. 47-50. https://doi.org/10.5951/teacchilmath.23.1.0047
Teaching and learning in context-based science classes : A dialectical sociocultural approach
King, Donna. (2016). Teaching and learning in context-based science classes : A dialectical sociocultural approach. In In Taconis, R., den Brok, P. and Pilot, A. (Ed.). Teachers creating context-based learning environments in science pp. 71-85 Sense Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6300-684-2_5
Expression of emotions and physiological changes during teaching
Tobin, Kenneth, King, Donna, Henderson, Senka, Bellocchi, Alberto and Ritchie, Stephen M.. (2016). Expression of emotions and physiological changes during teaching. Cultural Studies of Science Education. 11(3), pp. 669-692. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-016-9778-9
Evolution of self-reporting methods for identifying discrete emotions in science classrooms
Ritchie, Stephen M., Hudson, Peter, Bellocchi, Alberto, Henderson, Senka, King, Donna and Tobin, Kenneth. (2016). Evolution of self-reporting methods for identifying discrete emotions in science classrooms. Cultural Studies of Science Education. 11(3), pp. 577-593. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-014-9607-y
Engineering design in the primary school : Applying stem concepts to build an optical instrument
King, Donna and English, Lyn D.. (2016). Engineering design in the primary school : Applying stem concepts to build an optical instrument. International Journal of Science Education. 38(18), pp. 2762-2794. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2016.1262567
Context-based assessment : Creating opportunities for resonance between classroom fields and societal fields
Bellocchi, Alberto, King, Donna T. and Ritchie, Stephen M.. (2016). Context-based assessment : Creating opportunities for resonance between classroom fields and societal fields. International Journal of Science Education. 38(8), pp. 1304-1342. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2016.1189107
STEM learning through engineering design: fourth-grade students’ investigations in aerospace
English, Lyn D. and King, Donna T.. (2015). STEM learning through engineering design: fourth-grade students’ investigations in aerospace. International Journal of STEM Education. 2(1), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-015-0027-7
Emotionally intense science activities
King, D., Ritchie, Stephen, Sandhu, Maryam and Henderson, Senka. (2015). Emotionally intense science activities. International Journal of Science Education. 37(12), pp. 1886-1914. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2015.1055850
Emotional climate and high quality learning experiences in science teacher education
Bellocchi, Alberto, Ritchie, Stephen M., Tobin, Kenneth, King, Donna, Sandhu, Maryam and Henderson, Senka. (2014). Emotional climate and high quality learning experiences in science teacher education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 51(10), pp. 1301-1325. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21170