Workshop to help teachers use engineering design in science classes

June 7, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - More than 40 teachers from Indiana elementary schools will attend a Purdue University workshop this month to learn how to incorporate engineering design activities into their science classrooms.

The workshop, which will be June 11-15 and June 18-22, is presented through the Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) project. The project is co-directed by Alyssa Panitch, professor of biomedical engineering, and Brenda Capobianco, associate professor of science education.

SLED, a National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership project that links Purdue with Indiana school districts, is focused on improving science learning in grades 3-6. Engineering design provides a hands-on way for students to learn science by making products to meet specific needs.

New Indiana elementary-level academic standards as well as national science education standards call for students to understand and use the engineering design process. The SLED project is developing materials, teaching approaches and building a research base for meeting the new standards.

SLED participants from Purdue are the colleges of Education, Engineering, Science and Technology and the Discovery Learning Research Center. Teachers attending the workshops will come from the Lafayette, Tippecanoe, Taylor (Kokomo) and Plymouth school districts.

The teachers will test new classroom design activities developed by Purdue science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty and develop plans for implementing the activities with their own students during the 2012-13 academic year.

More information on SLED is available at

Writer: Judith Barra Austin,765-494-2432,

Source: James Lehman, College of Education, 765-494-8474,

Note to Journalists: The best days for reporters to see design activities during the workshop are June 12, 13, 14 and 18. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The workshop will be in the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research Center in Discovery Park.

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