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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research in Engineering and Technology Education


National Center for Engineering and Technology Education

Publication Date



Within primary and secondary school technology education, engineering has been proposed as an avenue to bring about technological literacy (Dearing & Daugherty, 2004; Lewis, 2005).Different initiatives such as curriculum development projects (i.e., Project ProBase and Project Lead The Way) and National Science Foundation funded projects such as the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) have been developed to infuse engineering into primary and secondary education. For example, one key goal of the Technology Teacher Education component of NCETE is to impact the focus and content of the technology education field at the secondary level (National Center for Engineering and Technology Education, 2005). More specifically, the goal is to facilitate students’ learning relative to core engineering principles, concepts, and ideas. A number of activities have been developed by the center to facilitate these goals, including a series of teacher professional development experiences, research designed to identify core engineering concepts, development of engineering-related activities, engagement with faculty from the STEM disciplines, and interaction with technology education pre-service teachers. Through the efforts of NCETE, three core engineering concepts within the realm of engineering design have emerged as crucial areas of need within secondary level technology education. These concepts are constraints, optimization, and predictive analysis (COPA). COPA appears to be at the core of the conceptual knowledge needed for students to understand and be able to do engineering design.


This report made publicly available by the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE).

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Engineering Commons