This Collections project builds on extensive K-12 engineering curriculum developments funded by the NSF GK-12 program with several engineering colleges collaborating to create an on-line digital library of engineering resources (the TeachEngineering Collection) for use by K-12 teachers and engineering college faculty conducting outreach in their communities. Each institution is already partnered with numerous local school districts to promote engineering as a vehicle for math and science integration. Lessons and activities that introduce engineering to K-12 students while serving as integrators of science and mathematics concepts will populate the Collection. The lessons and activities in the TeachEngineering Collection relate to everyday encounters in the lives of youngsters, thus providing a context for student learning. Collections curricula meet explicit minimum quality criteria and are aligned with national science, mathematics and technology educational standards. Activities can be constructed at low cost with readily available materials -- an "engineering on a shoestring" approach to encourage adoption of the Collection. The Collection also provides a portal to several "living laboratories" -- structures, facilities and processes instrumented with sensors, providing data on-line in real time. The project team also is reaching out to end-users by promoting workshops that train teachers and faculty to use the Collection. The American Society for Engineering Education involvement guarantees long-term sustainability, with responsibility for certification and testing of new curricular components, and nationwide dissemination and promotion of the Collection. The collaborators are designing the system architecture, developing the search engine, and refining and testing the system and contents, including the "living laboratories" component, in collaboration with K-12 teachers. Integration and interoperability with other NSDL collections are being addressed. Concurrently, the Collection content is being standardized, converting a variety of K-12 engineering curricula into searchable, standards-based documents with a common look and feel. In a set of second-level tasks, the team is populating and testing the Collection, integrating it into the Tufts Digital Library, completing the loading and testing of the initial contents, conducting teacher and faculty workshops, and transferring the Collection oversight to ASEE. Moving K-12 engineering outreach curricula from individual sites to a unified and useful library provides accessible resources for the K-12 community and stimulates the involvement of engineering faculty and professionals in K-12 education. Broader impacts of this work are engaging more engineering programs in K-12 outreach, providing the expanded opportunities to dramatically increase general STEM literacy and expanding the pool of youngsters eagerly prepared for a future in engineering.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Barbara N. Anderegg
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University of Colorado at Boulder
United States
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