Eric Fana


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Jump to: Engineering Design for All

+This page serves as a plan for my instructional design project for ETAP 623, Systematic Design of Instruction.

About Me

It's great to see a few familiar faces but for those of you who don’t know me I grew up in Lake George, NY, which is nestled in the southern part of the Adirondack Park. If you haven’t had a chance to visit I highly encourage it! After high school I pursued a bachelor's degree in Technology Education K-12 at SUNY Oswego. Yes, we got a lot snow and the winter winds were brutal but the fall and spring were beautiful with the campus being directly on the shores of Lake Ontario; the perfect drop set for an evening sunset.

After graduating from SUNY Oswego I started substitute teaching around the Capital Region and landed my first teaching job at Galway Central School District. I had roughly 4 great years at Galway before deciding to relocate to Bethlehem Central School District for what hopes to be a long and blessed career. The move was a result of many factors but being able to impact twice as many students in my high school electives ultimately drove my decision to move. I get to teach students everything from creating AOI circuits using computer simulation software to controlling a metal lathe with hand controls. For me and my students "technology is not just computers". A majority of what I currently teach is driven by PLTW's STEAM-Based curriculum.

I am pursuing a Master’s degree in CDIT with COLT at uAlbany. At first, I was extremely cautious about taking online courses but have become to love their flexibility and yet still demanding command over content and positive peer interaction. So why CDIT? Since I first began teaching I noticed how much my students benefited from the instructional components that revolved around technology. From organization to increased motivation, students in my courses seem to embrace the wide technology we use without complaint. I utilize a LMS (Canvas - Instructure) in a majority of my classes for assignment submissions, a home for PowerPoints and lessons, assessments, and the occasional discussion. In addition to using technology in my classroom I have always participated in my district's Technology Committee to push for implementations like 1-1 device use, student tracking systems, and Google Apps for Education. CDIT seemed like the best fit for me and I have already began to learn new ways to approach technology integration into the classroom curriculum.

My Topic/Purpose

In this course, educators will learn how to implement an Engineering Design Process in their classroom. Primarily, we will focus on implementation of this systematic process in STEAM-based classrooms in the K-12 setting. This topic was brought upon by the recent unveiling of the New York State Educational Department's Next Generation Science Standards which incorporate Engineering Design at all grade levels.

Questions that will be addressed:

  • What is an Engineering Design Process?
  • How do professionals use Engineering Design Processes to solve problems?
  • Why is defining a problem and design statement crucial to successful Engineering Design implementation?
  • How does an Engineering Design Process compare to the Scientific Method?
  • What do NYSED NextGen Science Standards state about Engineering Design?
  • How can Engineering Design be implemented in the K-12 classroom?
  • What attributes should educators include in lessons that implement an Engineering Design Process?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this mini-course, participants will:

  • Show a deeper appreciation for Engineering Design Processes through a minimum of one, supported discussion post.
  • Point out key attributes of Engineering Design Processes by looking at professional examples and later defining each of them accurately.
  • Determine which Engineering Design Process is best suited for their classroom, school, or district through document creation and conducting peer reviews until a consensus is reached.
  • Differentiate the similarities and differences between Engineering Design Processes and Scientific Methods through a minimum of one, supported discussion post.
  • Identify ways to assess a students understanding of an Engineering Design Process through the creations and sharing of 5-10 assessment questions.
  • Display their understanding of Engineering Design Processes in education through document creation and conducting peer reviews prior implementing their plan in the classroom.

Performance Objectives

Before completing this mini-course, participants will actively:

  • Build, share, and review design processes that best fits classroom needs.
  • Practice writing and identifying problem and design statements that promote focus-driven future direction.
  • Utilize an engineering design process to develop a solution to a common societal problem and share it with the class.
  • Develop a comprehensive activity/project/problem that incorporates the use of an engineering design process to solve a problem.

Note: Participants in this mini-course will also be asked to self- & peer- assess all desired learning outcomes and performance objectives at the end of each unit and again at the end of the course. Participants who are uncomfortable with the outcomes and objects should back track through the course, seek help from their peers or instructor, and/or pursue additional resources outside of this mini-course.

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) released early 2016, discuss "Engineering Practices" and "Design Solutions" in their K-12 benchmarks. Until recently, a vast majority of science educators taught the Scientific Method, not the Design Process. What is the design process? How does it help solve problems? And, how can I implement it into my classroom? Are all questions that have been raised in recent months surrounding the months. As schools look to implement these new standards, other STEAM-based educators look to hone their knowledge of the design process or implement it into their an old project or problem to enhance their students' learning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Choosing the right design process to implement is important at the district level to maintain consistency across the learning column.

What is to be Learned: Participants will learn how to incorporate a design process of their choosing into new, or old, learning assignments that engage students and foster their understanding of engineering design. A variety of design processes, each slightly unique in their own way, will be presented. Inevitably, the participant will select on that best fits their needs.

About the Learners: Participants will be pre-service, in-training, or current teachers of both K-12 public and private schools. Occasionally, participants will be educators in the post-secondary field, educational advocates, or those belonging to professional organizations. A significant portion of the participants will be STEAM educators, teaching either science, math, or technology core-courses or electives. Because of this, participants will have strong pedagogical knowledge of STEAM education and mastery in their specialty's content. Overall, the participant will be self-motivated to improve his or her profession.

Instructional Content: Participants in this mini-course will be presented course content over three, instructionally scaffolded modules. Each module will consist of learning objectives, an essential question, content readings, individual assignments, self-assessment questions, and additional resources. The following fully-asynchronous, instructor absent, online modules will define this mini-course:

  1. Defining Engineering Design Processes
  2. Utilizing Processes to Solve Problems
  3. Implementing Engineering Design into STEAM Learning Environments

Throughout the mini-lesson participants will be introduced to past and present standards and organizations that have looked to define what Engineering Design should be. Participants will immerse themselves in the design process to discover how it not only differs from the Scientific Method, but how it can be used to successfully solve the problems of today and the future. As participants reflect on their own understanding, they will assess their students needs and be prepared to make professional suggestions for implementations at the classroom, grade, school, or district level.

Explore Instructional Problems & Solutions: As the above instruction problem is presented and developed, participants will generate their own solutions to partially or fully implement an Engineering Design Process into their curriculum. Completing a variety of individual assignments and taking self-evaluations seriously, participants will finish the mini-course ready and able to share their new understandings with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators alike.

Instructional Goals: By the end of this mini-course participants will...

  • Select or create a design process for implementation
  • Use their selected design process to solve an issue common to our daily lives.
  • Design a activity, project, or problem that implements engineering design.

Analysis of the Learner and Content

Participants will be pre-service, in-training, or current teachers of both K-12 public and private schools. Occasionally, participants will be educators in the post-secondary field, educational advocates, or those belonging to professional organizations.

Participants must be motivated to learn more about the Design Process and its applications in the STEAM-based classroom. Participants should have an understanding of their subject-area, its ties to the STEAM-field, and an array of teaching methods that can later be used to implement what they learn here. Participants must also be motivated to align their curricula with the most recent state, national, and international standards.

Participants will meet the following prerequisites:

  • Competence in understanding and delivering science, math, engineering, and/or technology curriculum.
  • A computer with both word processing and Internet connection.
  • A Google Account - SIGN UP TODAY!
  • Access to local library and/or online databases.
  • The desire to continuously improve, learn, and better both their career and their students' educational experience.

Special Note: The mini-course will be entirely in English. Those with learning or physical disabilities may wish to use a document reader (ex. English Language Learners may wish to use a translation tool (ex.

Task Analysis

Introduction: Engineering Design for All

  • Welcome into the course, share essential questions, learning outcomes, and performance objectives, list prerequisites for success, and provide a comprehensive schedule to follow.

Module 1: Defining Engineering Design Processes

  • Instruction: An overview of the EDP and its role in society. Common EDPs created and used by professionals.
  • Practice: Select or create a design process for implementation.
  • Test Your Knowledge: Describe what happens during each step of the design process.

Module 2: Utilizing Processes to Solve Problems

  • Instruction: Scientific method vs EDP. Writing problem and design statements. EDP in NextGen.
  • Practice: Use a selected design process to solve an issue common to our daily lives.
  • Test Your Knowledge: Checking problem and design statements accuracy.

Module 3: Implementing Engineering Design into STEAM Learning Environments

  • Instruction: Facilitating EDP in a STEAM classroom. Planning for success and authenticity.
  • Practice: Design an activity, project, or problem that implements engineering design.
  • Test Your Knowledge: How should educators design lessons that implement an Engineering Design Process?

Conclusion: A Conclusion to Engineering Design for All

  • Reflect on learning, provide course feedback, acquire additional resources, and receive parting words.

Curriculum Map


Course-Wide References and Resources

+ALL citable knowledge used throughout this mini-course has been noted below:

"Design Thinking for Educators". IDEO Riverdale (2016). Retrieved December 2016, from

"Emily Pilloton: Teaching Design for Change". TED (2010). Retrieved December 2016, from

"Getting to Know the Standards". Next Generation Science Standards; For States, By States: Retrieved October 2016, from

Hutchinson, J., & Karsnitz, J. R., (1994). Design and problem solving in technology. NY: Glencoe McGraw-Hill.

IDEO. Retrieved November 2016, from

International Technology & Engineering Association (ITEEA),(2007). Standards for technological literacy: Content for the study of technology (3rd ed.). Reston, VA: International Technology Education Association.

Madsen D. A., Folkestad, J., Schertz, K. A., Shumaker, T. M., Stark, C., & Turpin, J. L. (2004). Engineering drawing and design (3rd ed.). Albany, NY: Delmar-Thompson Learning.

PLTW (Project Lead the Way, Inc). (2016). Retrieve October 2016, from

"Steps of the Scientific Method". Science Buddies. Retrieved November 2016, from

"Scientific Methods". StudyJams. Retrieved December 2016, from

"The Deep Dive". Nighline ABC News. Retrieved November 2016, from

"Why Man Creates". Saul Bass (1968). Retrieved December 2016, from