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Dean Pines, Abts Featured in ASEE PRISM Magazine for Leadership in Exploring New AP Course in Engineering

Dean Pines, Abts Featured in ASEE PRISM Magazine for Leadership in Exploring New AP Course in Engineering

Dean Darryll Pines (left) and Prof. Leigh Abts (right)
Dean Darryll Pines (left) and Prof. Leigh Abts (right)

Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering Darryll Pines and Research Associate Research Professor Leigh Abts (Bioengineering/College of Education) were recently featured in the April 2014 issue of American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) PRISM magazine for their leadership in exploring opportunities to expand the next generation of engineers.

The article, titled “Higher Reach,” focuses on a recent push by engineering deans and faculty across the country to add a new Advanced Placement (AP) engineering course to the suite of 10 science, technology and math AP courses currently available to high school students.

“The big issue now is on a better educated and prepared pipeline, the K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) pipeline,” Pines said in the article.

As chair of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council’s committee on K-12 STEM education, Pines has played a major leadership role in the AP Engineering review process. “Kids come in and don’t know anything about engineering,” Pines explained in the article, and that can lead to challenges with retention and graduation rates. Advanced Placement, however, could offer a way to “brand engineering at the high school level” and capture the attention of students who might otherwise pursue math or science in college.

In addition to Pines, Abts has helped reignite efforts to establish an AP engineering assessment for high school students.

For nearly a decade, Abts has served as an NSF-funded principal investigator developing a pre-AP and AP program, and has created a rubric for scoring students’ engineering design work from middle through graduate school. Rather than a multiple-choice exam, Abts envisions the test as an online portfolio – the Innovation Portal – where students submit videos and sketches to demonstrate their thought process and problem-solving skills.

“This is really going to break the mold for how the College Board and others look at student work,” Abts told Education Week last year.

Visit the ASEE PRISM magazine website.

Learn more about Dean Pines.

Learn more about Abts’ research.

April 1, 2014

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“The big issue now is on a better educated and prepared... K-12 STEM pipeline.”

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