The Problem

Of the thirty projected fastest-growing occupations through 2016, sixteen of them require substantial mathematics or science prepration. The Texas economy relies heavily on the energy, biomedical, space/electronics systems, and chemical industries, all of which require workers with strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

REDE arm design

The Research

Recent studies show that design-based teaching of science concepts results in superior student knowledge gain, engagement, and retention compared to scripted-inquiry teaching.

Teacher Empowerment

Rice University and the UTMB-Galveston Southeast Regional Texas STEM Center propose a two-year program to provide 45 teachers with the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to guide students through engineering design problems that integrate science and mathematics concepts and meet the new engineering TEKS standard.


Following the Rice Engineering Design Experience, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the steps of the engineering design process and their purpose;
  2. Form and guide the development and organization of effective student teams to solve design problems;
  3. Guide student teams through the steps of an engineering design problem;
  4. Integrate design-based exercises in science classes to enhance learning;
  5. Implement procedures to document design projects, both written and oral;
  6. Assess team project outcomes and apportion credit between members;
  7. Define intellectual property and the various means of protecting it.
  8. Describe the various areas of engineering, engineering practice, careers, and rewards;
  9. Use case studies to illustrate engineering ethics, responsibility to the public, and the interface with business management, and
  10. Explain engineering degrees, and how to prepare for them, including 2-year technical degrees.

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