Sample major in Integrated Science and Engineering, specifically aimed at 9-12 Educators

Shanthi Ayyadhury, IFLEED Institute of Math and Science and Horacio Ferriz, California State University-Stanislaus


We offer a sample -4-year major to prepare the science and engineering high school teachers of the future, which emphasizes integrated (i.e., not in silos) science and engineering, humanistic ethics, and thoughtful reflection of what the goal of being "a teacher" is all about.

We invite the power of our group thinking to tear down the silo walls that teacher credentialing agencies insist on preserving, in the form of authorizations to teach only Physics, or Chemistry, or Biology, or Earth Science.

Description of the Integrated Science and Engineering Major »

Goals of the Program

PLO 1. Prepare program graduates to propose workable solutions to societal problems related to resource exploration and development, construction with the Earth, and environmental issues related to Earth processes.

PLO 2. Prepare program graduates to incorporate sound ethical and emotional values, cultural values, open and productive communication, and group collaboration into their educational personae.

PLO 3. Prepare program graduates to formulate and test multiple hypotheses based on scientific methods.

PLO 4. Prepare program graduates to design inquiry-based lesson plans to investigate the natural world using an integrated science approach based on the California Next Generation Science Standards.

PLO 5. Provide program majors with the tools to guide K-12 learners through the processes of experimental design, collection of data in the outdoors, formulation of conceptual models, and design of relevant engineering solutions.

Learning Outcomes and sample Assessment Instruments

Student Learning Outcome and Assessment Chart (Acrobat (PDF) 92kB Oct6 20)

At the completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of engineering practices to define problems, determine specifications of designed systems, and identify constraints. (PLO 1)
    • Lesson plan on developing an engineering design and prototype (e.g., design of a knee support)
    • Final report on an Environmental Science and Engineering project (e.g., design of a water treatment process)
  • Effectively incorporate ethical and cultural values of K-12 learners in their NGSS lessons (PLO 2)
    • Lesson plan on the universal character of science and engineering (e.g., the universal right to safe water)
    • Final group presentation on the contributions of indigenous knowledge regarding nature (e.g., indigenous fire management)
  • Effectively incorporate group collaboration and respectful communication/discussion in their NGSS lessons (PLO 2)
    • Lesson plan on teamwork and group discussion (e.g., neighborhood survey of environmental assets)
    • Final group presentation on the differences between different types of human knowledge and problem-solving (e.g., a respectful discussion on religious, artistic, and scientific approaches)Demonstrate knowledge of how to ask questions that can be addressed by scientific investigation, help further understanding of observed phenomena, and help clarify scientific explanations and relationships. (PLO 3)
    • Lesson plan on conducting an experimental physics experiment (e.g., pendulum)
    • Final report on a Field Limnology project
  • Apply knowledge of patterns, cause-and-effect, scale, proportion, and systemscharacteristic of natural phenomena and engineered systems. (PLO 4)
    • Lesson plan on developing a field investigation (e.g., choosing the right combination of tools for a geophysical survey)
    • Final report on a Geochemistry or Planetary Science project (e.g., investigate an alkaline lake, or design a new sensor for a satellite to Venus)
  • Demonstrate ability to plan an NGSS-aligned lesson, coherently moving through the 5-E's sequence (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate). (PLO 5)
    • Lesson plan on conducting astronomical observations (e.g., recording the phases of the Moon, or using an app to track the movement of Jupiter over several days)
    • Final group presentation on a biological investigation (e.g., the nature and mechanics of genetics)

Assessing Program Outcomes

Please see section above for examples of assessment instruments. In brief, we plan to use sample lesson plans, and final reports or group presentations of interdisciplinary projects, or discussions about humanistic and meta-knowledge values. [Work in progress: We intend to include a sample rubric here for assessment of lesson plans and final reports.]

Although not specifically labeled a capstone, we propose a Senior-level course in Field Limnology, where students will spend up to 5 weeks doing field work, collecting data on different aspects of the hydrology and ecosystems of streams, fresh-water lakes/reservoirs, and coastal lagoons. The students will then process the data and reach tentative conclusions. After a round of internal peer review, the students will prepare a final report for each of the projects. The collected reports will be a portfolio that each student can use to demonstrate higher-level thinking in a field that has crucial implications for the health of the environment and the well-being of local populations.

Description of the Major

This page includes a discussion of the state of STEM teacher preparation, and the way in which the California Teacher Credentialing Commission operates, and items that we believe should be ironed out to modernize the way in which we select amongst our brightest students to become the STEM teachers of the future.Description of the Integrated Science
and Engineering Major »