Series: Xornam Apedoe "Earthquakes and Robots and Rockets, Oh My! Exploring the Synergy between Science and Engineering Design."
At the national level, there has been growing interest in increasing exposure and performance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Excitement about improving performance in science and mathematics is not new, however, what is new is the broader focus on STEM as a whole, now including technology (the artificial world) and engineering (the way people design it) in the call to action. While it is somewhat clear what each of these separate domains consists of, the idea of grouping them together suggests that there may be some sort of overlap or synergy between the domains. In this talk, I will discuss the conceptual overlap between two of these domains, science and engineering, and share results from empirical studies that investigate the value of applying science processes in engineering design tasks. I will also discuss how an approach known as design-based science learning, which combines the processes of engineering design with scientific inquiry, has been successful in teaching students difficult science concepts and increasing interest in STEM domains.