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Integrating Engineering and Literacy

Presenters: David Hammer and Jessica Watkins
Much of the challenge in teaching engineering is in recognizing, understanding, and responding constructively to its productive beginnings in students’ work. During this session, participants engage in a collaborative examination of student thinking using video data from Integrating Engineering and Literacy (IEL). They will then focus on how students scope the problem, consider clients, and develop and evaluate solutions. The session will include a discussion of how to get started with IEL.

David Hammer, Professor of Education and Physics, Chair of Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, Tufts University
David Hammer is chair of education, professor of education and physics, and co-director of the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University. He is a co-principal investigator of Integrating Engineering and Literacy, his first project in engineering education. Hammer leads the education research component on this project, which is largely focused on the dynamics of students’ and teachers’ framing what it is they are doing. The majority of Hammer’s research concerns the learning and teaching of science (focused mostly on physics) from elementary school through university, with particular emphases on students’ intuitive epistemologies, how instructors interpret and respond to student thinking, and resource-based models of knowledge and reasoning. Recently, Hammer served on the National Research Council Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation. He received his BA in Physics from Princeton University and his MA from the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD in Science and Mathematics Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jessica Watkins, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Tufts University
Jessica Watkins is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Education and Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University. As a researcher on the Integrating Engineering and Literacy project, she examines how students begin to take up engineering practices and how these practices are connected to their designing. Her previous research has also focused on interdisciplinary learning environments, looking at instructional tasks and student reasoning at the intersection of physics and biology. Watkins studied Physics as an undergraduate at Rice University and completed her PhD in 2010 studying Undergraduate Physics Education at Harvard University.