Measuring the Effects of a Student Teaching-Based Unit on 3rd Graders’ Perceptions of Engineers and Engineering

Taylor Cobb

Dr. Scott Townsend, Department of Education


This paper explores previous findings on this topic and extends the level of research to lower grades of students. The research articles vary in finding for some upper elementary grade but eventually reach the same overall general consensus. Majority of researchers found that students do not have a clear understanding of what engineers are or what they do. They often confuse engineers with scientists, vocational workers, and train conductors. Of all the varying studies conducted on this subject, many researchers have used upper elementary aged students as subjects (4th and 5th grade). This project differs from them in the age of the subjects (3rd grade) and the process in conducting the research. Students are given a similar assessment as in other studies , called the Draw an Engineer Test (DAET), but they are also taught a week-long unit that focuses on the engineering practices laid out in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as well as a focus on engineers in general. The goal of this project is to exemplify the importance of including engineering in all elementary classrooms rather than just upper elementary classes.

Keywords: Engineering, Draw an Engineer Test (DAET), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), standards.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-13-2019


J. Scott Townsend

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Curriculum and Instruction

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Curriculum and Instruction