2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Leslie Atkins Elliott


With the introduction of engineering design into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Idaho’s Science Education Standards, engineering has become a required practice in science classrooms. In the context of these standards, engineering is defined as the practice of design to solve a problem, including the construction and implementation of the design. For science teachers, however, it can be difficult to know when and how to incorporate this practice into their curriculum. The goal of this study is to identify opportunities for engineering design that emerge in the context of scientific inquiry, with descriptions of what such engineering looks like and how it can be better integrated into science courses in ways that are authentic to both science and engineering. In this study, we used a college STEM Education class with a total of five students to examine when engineering opportunities arise during a scientific investigation. We used field notes and video analysis from the class to analyze trends in student engineering during scientific inquiry. We will present examples of student engineering design, and discuss how these designs were used, what problems they solved, and how these designs will inform future instruction in the K-12 science classroom.