EiE Research

Engineering is Elementary: A Research-Based Curriculum

Our team use an integrated evaluation strategy that relies on pilot testing in elementary classrooms and classroom observations. We also hold focus groups with teachers, conduct student assessments, and review student work.

Take a moment to watch one of our EiE Spotlight videos about our research. Visit our Resources page for more videos and other useful resources.

Research Results

EiE evaluations and external reviews find that the curriculum has the following impacts:

  • Children who use EiE perform significantly better than control-group students on questions about engineering, technology, and science.
  • Children who use EiE are more likely than control-group students to say they’re interested in engineering as a career.
  • Children from groups that are historically underrepresented in engineering show enhanced interest, engagement, and performance when they participate in EiE as compared to a science curriculum alone, and as compared to school in general. These results apply to the following groups:
    • Females
    • Historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities
    • Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    • Students from low-income families
    • English Language Learners

Take a look at our Research Highlights for a quick overview of EiE research and evaluation results. Download a more in-depth copy of EiE's Executive Summary.

Ongoing Research

EiE’s research team continues to evaluate the curriculum. Some of our current research questions include the following:

  • What do students know about engineering and technology?
  • How does the EiE curriculum affect what students know about engineering and technology?
  • How does the EiE curriculum affect students’ understanding of related science and mathematics topics?
  • How does the EiE curriculum affect students’ attitudes towards STEM activities and careers?
  • How does the EiE curriculum impact the understanding and attitudes of female students, students of color, low-income students, and other populations underrepresented in STEM fields?
  • How does EiE professional development affect teachers’ pedagogy for STEM topics?
  • How does EiE professional development affect teachers’ attitudes towards teaching engineering and technology in their classrooms?

Visit the EiE Articles and Publications page to search for research reports on both the EiE curriculum and the professional development that supports the curriculum. This database includes EiE reports, reports by external evaluators, and reports from organizations that use EiE curriculum materials in their own research, evaluation, and advocacy work. (Links to full-text publications are provided with the permission of the authors.)

To review the assessment instruments we use in our research, visit the EiE Research Instruments page.