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TCNJ Professor Leads Research Defining National Standards for P-12 Engineering Education


TCNJ faculty and students not only make contributions to engineering education at the college-level but also at the P-12 level.  TCNJ professor Dr. Tanner Huffman leads the Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AE3) research collaborative which seeks to unify focus, vision, content, and goals in P-12 engineering education.   AE3 recently announced a partnership with the American Society for Engineering Education to improve national engineering educational standards. Dr. Huffman is not only the Executive Director of AE3, but also an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering’s Department of Integrative STEM Education.

Previous P-12 national standards for engineering left room for improvement, not expanding widely enough to capture the breadth of engineering content and competences. Seeking to drive change in 2016, “…AE3 launched the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning project to establish a coherent curricular structure for the dimensions of engineering literacy and conduct research on the learning of engineering concepts/skills to better understand how to achieve engineering literacy for all.” The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recognized the potential of this work, and established this new partnership. ASEE Executive Director Dr. Norman Fortenberry said, “Our collaboration with AE3 is a crucial first step in providing quality assurance for P-12 engineering programs.”

TCNJ engineering students have the opportunity to be directly involved in shaping national standards for P-12 engineering education. With the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE), students spend eight weeks at TCNJ during the summer working with faculty on research with TCNJ faculty. Through MUSE, TCNJ engineers have worked with Dr. Huffman on projects aligned with AE3 work. In Dr. Huffman’s words: “TCNJ graduates are uniquely positioned as leaders in the growing P-12 Engineering education movement. They will be a driving force of change in schools to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to think, learn, and act like an engineer.”

Learn more about the AE3 and this partnership:

Learn more about TCNJ professor Dr. Huffman:

Learn more about the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE):