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Award Abstract #1249874

Effective Practices Integrating Engineering and Literacy in the Early Years

Division Of Research On Learning
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Initial Amendment Date: September 20, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: September 20, 2013
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Award Number: 1249874
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Gregg E. Solomon
DRL Division Of Research On Learning
EHR Direct For Education and Human Resources
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Start Date: October 1, 2013
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End Date: September 30, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $389,272.00
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Investigator(s): Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz z.aguirre@ttu.edu (Principal Investigator)
Michelle Pantoya (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Texas Tech University
349 Administration Bldg
Lubbock, TX 79409-1035 (806)742-3884
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NSF Program(s): REAL
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Program Reference Code(s): 9177, SMET
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Program Element Code(s): 7625


This FIRE project supports the collaboration of researchers from Texas Tech University to engage in a cross-disciplinary research and development project in learning about engineering concepts by young children in kindergarten through second grade. The PIs include an early child learning specialist and an engineering who has written books about engineering for children. The research questions that ground this study address the impact of the use of engineering-centered literature and aligned simulations on student learning and engagement in related STEM content. The researchers are using a single-case design to compare the use of the project Engineering Everywhere Literacy instruction along and in combination with the computer simulation games in the classrooms of two teachers. A small pilot comparison group study is being conducted in the second year of the project to determine the promise of the approach.

The collaboration of disciplinary faculty and education researchers requires that each individual build an understanding of the conceptual frameworks and research perspectives and methodologies of the other discipline. The collaboration modeled in this project provides an example of the sorts of activities in which each researcher should engage in order to make the collaboration more fruitful. The focus on engineering concepts is timely given the rising presence of engineering design in the new college and career readiness standards. The focus on early childhood experiences with engineering addresses a gap in research and development in education.


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Pantoya, M., Aguirre-Munoz, Z., & Hunt, E., M.. "Developing an Engineering Identity in Early Childhood.," American Journal of Engineering Education, v.6, 2015, p. 61.


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