Bienkowski, M., Dieterle, E., Jones, K., Lara-Meloy, T. (2009). Recommended Resources for the National Defense Education Program Pre-Engineering Partnerships. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
The National Defense Education Program (NDEP) contributes to the education, training, recruiting, and retention of individuals in science and engineering disciplines that are critical to the national security functions of the Department of Defense (DoD). The NDEP’s mission is helping to meet the increasing demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals in DoD laboratories. NDEP’s Pre-Engineering Partnership (PEP) with middle schools supports scientists and engineers (S&Es) from DoD laboratory sites working with teachers on STEM activities in classroom settings. The literature on joint efforts between teachers/students and S&Es stresses the partnership aspects of the collaboration, and the quality and quantity of contacts, their relevance, and their alignment with other content being taught. Existing PEP sites report the importance of leadership from the PEP site coordinator and the unique contributions that S&Es can bring to students. PEP sites and schools alike are seeking hands-on, technology-based resources that engage students in STEM learning and anchor teacher and S&E activities in class. This SRI International (SRI) report presents the selection criteria applied in selecting five resources for recommendation to PEP. Accompanying narrative scenarios illustrate how the resources can support S&Es who work in middle school classrooms.