The Knowles Academy offers state-of-the-art professional development experiences for teachers. All Academy courses are designed and facilitated by experienced teachers who understand the complexities of teaching in today’s world.

Through this Knowles Academy course, teachers will learn to use engineering design to teach students math and/or science content, and inspire and equip them to solve real-world problems.

Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design

Endorsed by the American Society for Engineering Education, this year-long, professional development course offers nine months of coaching and support for teachers aiming to integrate engineering design in their classrooms. Initiated by a week-long, in-person workshop facilitated by biology, physical science, and math teachers with experience in using engineering successfully, this program will assist teachers in gaining the knowledge and confidence needed to implement engineering design challenges that inspire their students to apply math and science concepts and solve real-world problems.

Course Objectives:

  • Experience content-infused engineering design challenges and develop an NGSS-practices aligned framework for the engineering design process for your classroom
  • Learn how to encourage engineering mindsets in students
  • Discuss the differences between engineering design facilitation and traditional math and science instruction
  • Discuss engineering with a professional engineer
  • Prepare for NGSS implementation of engineering-integration instruction by designing and peer teaching your own content-integrated engineering design lessons


Teachers will receive nine months of coaching that is initiated by a week-long, in-person workshop.

Day 1: What is engineering design?
  • Define community norms and set personal goals
  • Engage in two math and science content-based engineering design challenges with Algebra I and II, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry and Physics connections
  • Co-construct your own diagram of the engineering design process
  • Investigate engineering design facilitation within math and science
  • Conceptualize and reflect on the traits of an engineer
  • Revisit and reflect on personal goals
Day 2: How will engineering design work in my classroom?
  • Experience a biology-based engineering design challenge
  • Iterate engineering design diagram
  • Explore two Knowles engineering design planning and teaching tools—the Slices activity to help conceptualize engineering design in discrete moments of instruction, and the Low-hanging fruit tool for identifying content and lessons that are “ripe” for engineering integration
  • Revisit and reflect on personal goals
Day 3: How can I evaluate and modify engineering design challenges for my own instruction?
  • Compare engineering design diagrams (affordances and tradeoffs)
  • Engage in the fourth engineering design challenge (all content areas)
  • Dialogue with an engineer or engineering education guest speaker
  • Analyze the four completed engineering design challenges using the Knowles Engineering Complexity Rubric
  • Iterate your engineering design diagram
  • Plan a content-based engineering design challenge to present to workshop participants
Day 4: How will I teach and assess engineering design?
  • Edit a digitized, graphic-designed version of your engineering design diagram
  • Discuss ethics in engineering related to students and the broader world
  • Practice assessing student work using facilitator’s own classroom examples and the Knowles Engineering Design Process Rubric
  • Engage in your peers’ engineering design challenges and provide feedback
Day 5: How will I use engineering design this year?
  • Peer teach your content-based engineering design challenges and debrief
  • Plan for engineering-integrated instruction with a planning partner and receive feedback from critical friends
  • Meet your coach, a teacher familiar with using engineering design in their classroom, and discuss next steps
  • Complete final reflection on personal goals
After the Workshop:
  • Receive a poster of your final engineering design diagram for your classroom
  • Receive personalized monthly emails from your coach
  • Enjoy two “Virtual Pizza Parties”—online meetings with your coach where we send you pizza! Typically, one meeting is usually held before your first engineering design implementation and one after.

Financial assistance is available for Knowles Academy courses (select yes to the financial aid question on the registration form for more information). Scholarships for the Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design course held in Oregon, Wisconsin, in June 2018 were provided by Findorff & Son.

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Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design (California)

Dates: June 10–14, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (lunch and snacks will be provided)
Location: The Garage at South San Francisco High School, South San Francisco, California
Price: $1,000

Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design (Pennsylvania)

Dates: July 8–12, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (coffee and lunch will be provided)
Location: The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Price: $1,000

Academy Services

All Knowles Academy courses can be customized to meet the specific needs of schools and/or districts. Please use the below form to request information about custom services.

Resource Downloads

Knowles Engineering Design Process

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Knowles Engineering Design Process Performance Assessment Rubric

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Knowles Engineering Design Process Phase 1 Student Worksheet

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Finding the Low Hanging Fruit (How to identify activities that are ripe for the integration of engineering)

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Knowles Engineering Design Process Generic Inputs, Tasks & Outputs

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Want More Info on Knowles Academy? Engineering Design for Mathematics and Science Teachers