Frequently asked questions
For High Schools
How much will it cost for my school to implement e4usa? What resources will be provided to e4usa schools?
A yearlong membership for 2024-2025 includes professional learning, including Summer Professional Development, Winter Professional Development, coaching, and access to the e4usa Community of Practice. The membership fee is $2500 for online Summer PD and $3,200 for in-person Summer PD in Maryland. All other PD sessions are online. There is no separate charge for the e4usa curriculum as it is part of the membership. Applications are open now for the 2024-2025 academic year.
The materials needed to implement the curriculum are minimal and designed to be low-cost. Schools typically spend $1,000-$1,500 on materials and supplies for the course. The cost varies and depends on which problems your teacher selects for the students to solve.
Will teachers be compensated for participating in e4usa?
Teachers who are currently a part of our research program will continue to be compensated in the 2023-2024 academic year. e4usa has a full complement of teachers participating in research, so no new teachers are being recruited for research at this time. We are eager to recruit new e4usa teachers to our program, but participation will not be compensated.
Will any credit be offered to teachers who participate in professional learning (PL) through e4usa?
Teachers who participate in each of our yearlong professional learning opportunities will be awarded CEUs for that time at the end of the year.
How will college course credits be earned for this course?
High school students who successfully complete e4usa may earn college course credit and placement at participating colleges and universities. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or read our Credit and Placement Prospectus for 2023-2024.
What is the framework of the course?
The curriculum is designed to be a thirty week course focused on four “big ideas”: 1) Connect with Engineering, 2) Engineering in Society, 3) Engineering Professional Skills, and 4) Engineering Design.
e4usa’s design focus differs from other curricula that use a technology focus or a survey of engineering disciplines approach.
What special software / hardware / equipment is required?
The course is process and design oriented as opposed to covering any specific software or hardware. Material requirements will vary somewhat according to student designs. The curriculum is designed to be low cost and not require any specific hardware or software.
Is the e4usa curriculum aligned to a set of national or state standards?
The curriculum is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) standards.
What age students is this curriculum designed for? Is any particular background required of the students?
The curriculum is designed for the high school level. The unique focus of “for us all” means this course can be offered with a recommended corequisite of algebra. The course has now been successfully taught to 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
Can this curriculum be used in the middle school level?
This curriculum is designed for the high school level. It is recommended that middle school teachers utilize other curricula designed for those grades, such as the Youth Engineering Solutions program, in order to meet the needs of their learners.
What ongoing support is offered to teachers who are implementing the e4usa curriculum in their classrooms?
The e4usa community includes staff, teachers, school administrators, and university/industry liaisons who form a community of practice designed to support all who engage in e4usa. Additional support structures (e.g., webinars, online discussions, periodic professional development opportunities) are available through the community of practice and e4usa personnel.
What are the must-have skills or background knowledge for teachers? For students?
e4usa requires no advanced background skills for teachers or students. The ability to effectively write, team, and communicate is beneficial. The e4usa curriculum and professional learning are both tailored to build knowledge and skills in engineering, while empowering teachers and students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance.
In the e4usa curriculum, are there formative assessments such as homework requiring accessibility to the internet at home?
Some units include homework assignments which require the use of the internet. We suggest the use of public and/or college libraries which are accessible to students who are enrolled in the e4usa course.
Is the curriculum designed to be rigidly followed or flexible?
The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adaptable. Units and lessons have been designed with input from K-12 teachers, university faculty, and researchers. All components are viewed as important, but can be delivered to students as individual teachers see fit.
All teachers are required to cover Units 1-4 and Unit 8 in order to have taught a full e4usa course. Some teachers find that they can effectively cover these units as well as either Units 5 and 6 or Unit 7 in a full year course. Some districts are making Units 1-4 their first year course, while Units 5-8 comprise their second year course.
In what timespan is the e4usa curriculum meant to be delivered?
The e4usa curriculum was designed to be a full year course. Teachers have successfully adapted and implemented the curriculum in a variety of ways including within a single semester when using a block schedule.
How difficult is it to adapt the e4usa curriculum to my existing curriculum?
The e4usa curriculum is designed to be a complete, stand-alone curriculum rather than a supplement or addendum to other curricula. Teachers have successfully adapted e4usa into a variety of existing curricula. The level of difficulty in adapting the curricula will depend on your existing curriculum.
Who can I contact if I have questions about specific curricular materials?
Contact the e4usa Curriculum Team at email@example.com
Do I have to have an engineering background to become an e4usa teacher?
High school teachers in all content areas are eligible to partner with us! No prior engineering teaching experience is required. The e4usa curriculum is intentionally designed to increase access to engineering by providing accompanying yearlong teacher professional learning and a curriculum that can be taught by any high school teacher to any high school student.
What are the e4usa professional learning opportunities for engineering educators?
Paramount to the success of e4usa is the yearlong professional learning experiences and community of practice, which aims to prepare and support teachers. This begins with an intensive and hands-on Summer PD. Continued professional learning opportunities each fall for new e4usa teachers include training on scoring design portfolios using MyDesign Platform and Rubric. Teachers then engage in a Winter Professional Development and an End-of-Year Teacher Celebration. The Community of Practice helps teachers remain connected with fellow teachers and the e4usa team throughout the year. To learn more, please visit our Professional Learning page.
Are the professional learning opportunities optional for participating engineering educators?
Professional learning offered by e4usa is required of all participating teachers. This requirement recognizes the importance professional learning plays in supporting educators and helping prepare for the academic year.
Once the academic year begins, how do educators remain connected to one another or with the e4usa team?
An e4usa Professional Development Canvas and a Community of Practice on Slack serve as platforms to engage educators throughout the school year. Educators are also encouraged to use these platforms to share created resources with one another and to ask questions of their e4usa peers and the e4usa team. Educators are also engaged through a weekly announcement, which contains information, updates, and event dates, as well as a brief survey to allow the e4usa team and coaches to further support educators. Additional gatherings include a Winter Professional Development and an End-of-Year Celebration.
Following professional learning for new teachers, how many additional years are required?
While two years of teacher professional learning are strongly recommended, only the first year is required. The second year of teacher professional learning includes two weeks of Summer Professional Development, a full year of coaching, and participation in our Community of Practice. The second year focuses heavily on the MyDesign Scoring Rubric and allows teachers to build upon their first year of using it for instruction and assessment. This rubric provides a standardized method of assessing engineering design portfolios and is the same rubric used to assess student work as part of the e4usa end-of-course assessment. To learn more about MyDesign, please visit MyDesign page.
As educators continue to teach e4usa, we hope that they will continue to engage in our vibrant Community of Practice and opt-in to other professional development opportunities to continually grow as engineering educators.
Will any credit be offered by participating in professional development through e4usa?
Acknowledging that graduate level credit-bearing PD is oftentimes state-specific, and possibly district or county-specific, credit is not currently being granted at this time. The team does hope to pursue this effort in the near future as we scale up. A certificate of participation can be provided to educators upon request. Additionally, teachers who participate in our yearlong professional learning will be awarded CEUs for that time at the end of the year.
How does e4usa plan to expand the Professional Learning and Community of Practice to ensure meaningful engagement as the program addresses scaling and sustainability?
Scaling and sustaining the e4usa Professional Learning and Community of Practice are essential in broadening the impact of e4usa. The e4usa team continues to explore innovative, technology-based ideas and partnerships with institutions of higher education. Overall, the aim is to intentionally scale up to ensure that the e4usa Professional Learning remains responsive to educators and students, as well as continue to develop a cohesive Community of Practice that provides sustained support.
Whom can I contact if I have additional questions about professional learning?
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How has research informed the e4usa curriculum and PL?
The e4usa New Teacher Professional Learning has been endorsed by the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Engineering Teacher Professional Development Endorsement (ETPDE). This endorsement is based on the 2014 Standards for Preparation and Professional Development for Teachers of Engineering and the associated matrix. Additionally, we have a number of publications and manuscripts in review that showcase the impact of the e4usa Professional Learning.
Where can you find e4usa research results?
The e4usa website includes a publications summary that captures all journal articles, conference papers, presentations, and workshops that have been disseminated by the e4usa team. Assess e4usa work by visiting e4usa Research page.
Can a school have multiple participating teachers?
A school may have as many e4usa teachers as they wish! We encourage schools and districts to adopt our course throughout a school and/or a district to bring e4usa to all students.
Is there a limit on the number of students who can participate in any one class section?
An ideal number of students for each class is between 15 and 30, but there is no official limit.
May I still apply if this course is not approved in my school district?
e4usa staff are willing to work with prospective partner high schools and districts to obtain district approval for the course.
For Colleges and Universities
What is expected of participating colleges and universities?
e4usa asks that participating colleges and universities:
- Consider accepting this course for college credit on their campus.
- Offer their campus as a site for professional development (note: this does not obligate a college/university to actually facilitate the professional development, but only to offer it as a host site).
- Become a member of the community of practice.
- Serve as a resource to provide technical, logistical and other curricular support to teachers.
What are the benefits of becoming an e4usa partner institution?
Our college and university partners have the opportunity to:
- Directly impact the training and preparation of teachers within their geographic area.
- Inspire students to understand how engineering is used in everyday life.
- Encourage students to consider applying to their college or university for their postsecondary studies.
- Potentially recruit a diverse population of high school students to explore one of the engineering majors within their college or university.
We already have an existing introductory engineering course on our campus. What are the implications for adding this course?
At some universities, the e4usa curriculum has been used to replace the university’s introductory engineering course. At other colleges and universities, the e4usa curriculum has been used to create a new course that is intended for non-majors. This course might serve as a complement to a liberal arts curriculum and/or as a means of recruiting new students into engineering. Contact e4usa if you are interested in adding e4usa to your campus’s course offerings.
What is the financial obligation of university partners?
There are no required costs to university partners.
Can my college/university conduct research on outcomes associated with e4usa without agreeing to support a local high school?
Not at this time. e4usa is primarily focused on ensuring that partners are committed to the goal of supporting high schools with curricular, logistical, and other forms of support.