To the Editor:
As recommended by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, whose recent report is described in your article “Panel Wants Engineering Integrated Into Curriculum” (Sept. 16, 2009), multidisciplinary engineering lessons are starting to bloom in classrooms across the country, through a new Academy of Engineering initiative led by the National Academy Foundation, Project Lead the Way, and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.
The initiative aims to increase the number of high school students interested in engineering, and to help prepare them to succeed in two- and four-year engineering and engineering-technology college programs. Academies deliver a four-year, integrated engineering curriculum within the model of a small learning community, and address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in engineering by enrolling a large majority of their students from these groups.
Working with these partners, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career has created curriculum units that connect to Project Lead the Way’s engineering course sequence. These units extend hands-on, authentic engineering problems to math and science courses, as well as to English language arts and social science classrooms.
Currently, 29 high school academies in 12 states have been created under the umbrella of the Academy of Engineering, with up to 40 additional academies slated to be selected through a competitive process beginning this fall. Additional information on the initiative is available at www.academyofengineering.org.
Paula M. Hudis
Director for Pathway and Curriculum Development
ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career
A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 2009 edition of Education Week as K-12 Engineering: More Information on Courses