Episode 019: Engineering Design with Cary Sneider



Although engineering has been mentioned in prior standards, it was never very prominent, and only rarely implemented as a part of science.  Learn why engineering has been embraced to the extent it has in the Framework and NGSS and how to implement engineering design in your NGSS classroom from a member of the NGSS writing team, Cary Sneider.

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 Show Highlights (with time stamps)

  • 07:00 - 08:35    Why is engineering such a focus in NGSS?
  • 10:45 - 20:30    How to integrate engineering into lesson-planning
  • 20:45 - 23:00    How do science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fit together?
  • 29:00 - 35:00    Using a design matrix to make decisions
  • 42:00 - 47:35    Engineering curriculum resources

  Show Quotes 

"At the earliest ages, what [engineering] really means is that when kids encounter a problem, they need to know that that's a problem that can be defined and solved. " [11:10-11:25] Cary Sneider

"Technology is all the stuff engineers work with and produce. Technology is products, processes, and systems. And if you think about it, that's the world around us" [21:50-22:00] Cary Sneider

"The science is what give it a deeper context and a broader meaning. And the engineering is what gives it an immediate application." [35:10-35:20] Cary Sneider

"And it's not that we're trying to produce engineers or scientists or mathematicians. What we're trying to do really is to help everybody understand the world that they live in. Because, if you remember, the world around us is a technological world. And the better we understand it, the better we an function in it. Not only as workers, but also as consumers, and as citizens." [41:10-41:30] Cary Sneider



  • LinkEngineering is a website designed for engineering educators, by engineering educators.  More than a place to download resources, it’s a place to meet other educators with common interests, participate in webinars, share resources, and much more.

  • TeachEngineering is the place to go for vetted and edited descriptions of more than 1,000 activities for K-12 engineering education.

  • Engineering the Future is an engaging and affordable introductory high school engineering curriculum designed to get students interested in the STEM fields. The four major projects function well as a year-long course, or one or two projects can be used for a quarter or a semester course. The activities also lend themselves to summer programs.  

  • Engineering Is Elementary is the most widely used elementary engineering curriculum in the United States.  The website provides a rich array of videos illustrating the modules and a substantial body of research papers demonstrating their value in introducing children to engineering design.


The Go-To Guide for Engineering Education is a three-volume series (PreK-5, 6-8, 9-12) of in-depth chapters describing forty different engineering curricula suitable for using in science classrooms.  Whether you are looking for new curricular materials or just want to know what’s out there, this is a very useful resource. Published by Corwin Press, but also available from NSTA, Amazon, and other sources. Edited by Cary Sneider


General Resources


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