Motivated by great work that Fairfax County, VA Public Schools has done with Knowles on a Chesapeake Bay engineering design project (“Design a communication device to share data on the Bay with stakeholders”) and the wealth of resources that the Chesapeake Network provided those students, I want to share with you all an opportunity for more teachers to learn about engineering integration into math and science classes.

Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design was created by classroom teachers involved with Knowles Teacher Initiative through the Knowles Teaching Fellowship. The course includes a week-long workshop in Philadelphia, July 20-24, plus one year of coaching from a dedicated coach with experience teaching engineering design in math or science content classes.

The program focuses on helping teachers to constructively understand engineering design, to see how teaching engineering design is different than teaching traditional math or science, and to internalize how math and science content can be taught through doing an engineering design challenge instead of doing engineering as an add-on project after content learning. This course is not a binder of projects. Instead, it teaches the capacity to transform lessons, labs, and curriculum that teachers already use into engineering design challenges. From my own physics teaching experience, I’ve seen that this method is very engaging for students as they also learn how to solve problems in their own world. Participating teachers strengthen their specialized and pedagogical content knowledge as they see new connections within their content area and to their students’ learning.

I encourage teachers interested in learning how to craft Chesapeake-centric engineering design challenges to attend. Creating opportunities for students to learn about the Bay and engage in solving problems will bolster curriculum and create aware citizens in the future.