Exploration of NSF-ATE Projects Approaches in the Integration of Technology and Engineering Education at the K-12 levels


Access to post-secondary education, specifically in the technical, two-year institution area, is a topic of growing interest in the country. Funding agencies, such as NSF, via the Advanced Technological Education Program (ATE), are supporting initiatives and research aimed at increasing the number of technicians and engineers and improving science, mathematics performance, and technological literacy among pre-college populations. This study focused on projects and programs awarded under the NSF-ATE program. It aimed to understand their approaches to K-12 engineering and technology education. Forty eight percent of the 2009 spring-summer active awards with K-12 components were identified. Through a mixed-method design, 49 NSF-ATE award representatives responded to an online survey, and five were interviewed after their online responses were analyzed. Results show that “pathways to increase the number of engineers and technicians” was the most prevalent goal, that their activities were more informational than instructional, that and their concerns concentrated primarily on their evaluations.


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