Curriculum Development Process


Fifty-four integrated STEM units were designed by teams of practicing teachers, or Teacher Fellows, as part of the EngrTEAMS grant project. In preparation for curriculum writing,Teacher Fellows participated in a three-week summer institute that provided information on the engineering design process, science content standards, data analysis techniques and quality engineering curriculum. Teacher teams consulted with engineers, scientists, and university researchers as they drafted engineering design-based units with a science focus. A graduate research assistant served as a curriculum and instructional coach for each team as they developed and then piloted lessons with children enrolled in the U of M Kid’s University Summer Camps. Needed revisions were made and then each team member implemented the curriculum unit with their own students during the following school year, again working with their team and coach to make additional revisions. All lessons were recorded and classroom artifacts collected for analysis of both content and pedagogy.


Curricula were analyzed using a STEM Integration Curriculum Assessment rubric based on A Framework for Quality K-12 Engineering Education. Thirteen units were selected for field testing, final edits, and publishing. Teams of field test teachers other than the authors taught and provided feedback on the efficacy of the units in a variety of classroom environments. Implementation of all lessons was recorded for research analysis and field test teachers provided both written and face-to-face feedback regarding effectiveness and usability, including suggestions for improvement, to inform final editing of the curricula.

Curriculum Development Process

Curriculum Units Developed in Years 1–3 and Field Tested in Years 4-5