Research Based

Research Based

YES both draws from and contributes to educational research.

  • We work collaboratively with educators, engineers, and scientists using design-based research methods that include multiple cycles of research, development, testing, and improvement to create high-quality materials.
  • Educational research informs our work.
    Ideas, input, and feedback from educators continually shape our products.
  • YES resources are pilot- and field-tested in diverse settings nationwide.
  • The team observes lessons, collects student assessments, and examines student work.

The YES team is also keenly interested in improving engineering education through research. In collaboration with schools, educators, and students, we conduct research studies. YES researchers share theoretical frameworks and results of empirical studies in journal articles for researchers and practitioners.

Recent research publications that have shaped YES and the field of engineering education include:

Cunningham, C. M., & Sneider, C. (2023). Precollege engineering education. In Lederman N., Zeidler, D., & Lederman, J. (Eds.), Handbook of research in science education vol III.

Cunningham, C. M., & Kelly, G. J. (2022). A model for equity-oriented preK-12 engineering learning. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12 (2), Article 3. DOI: 10.7771/2157-9288.1375
American Society of Engineering Education Pre-College Engineering Education Best Diversity Paper Honorable Mention

Cunningham, C. M. (2022, July). Engineering solutions for ecological problems. Open Access Government. 218–219. access

Johnson, M. M, Kelly, G. K., & Cunningham, C. M. (2021). Failure and improvement in elementary engineering. Journal of Research in STEM Education. 7(2), 69–92.

Cunningham, C. M., Kelly, G. J., & Meyer, N. (2021). Affordances of engineering with English learners. Science Education. 105, 255–280. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21606

Cunningham, C. M., Wendell, K. B., & Bauer, D. (2021). Crosscutting concepts in engineering. In Nordine, J. & Lee, O. (Eds.), Crosscutting concepts: Strengthening science and engineering learning. (pp. 311–330). Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association Press.

Cunningham, C. M. (2018). Engineering in elementary STEM education: Curriculum design, instruction, learning, and assessment. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Lachapelle, C. P., Cunningham, C. M., & Oh, Y. (2019). What is technology? Development and evaluation of a simple instrument for measuring children’s conceptions of technology. International Journal of Science Education. 41(2), 188–209. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2018.1545101

Cunningham, C. M., Lachapelle, C. P., & Davis, M. (2018). Engineering concepts, practices, and trajectories for early childhood education. In English, L. & Moore, T. (Eds.), Early engineering learning (pp. 135–174). New York, NY: Springer.

Lachapelle, C. P., Cunningham, C. M., & Davis, M. (2017). Middle childhood education: Engineering concepts, practices, and trajectories. In deVries, M. J. (Ed.), Handbook of technology education (pp. 141–157). New York, NY: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-38889-2_23-1

Cunningham, C. M., & Kelly, G. K. (2017). Epistemic practices of engineering for education. Science Education. 101, 486–505. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21271

Cunningham, C. M., & Carlsen, W. S. (2014). Precollege engineering education. In N. Lederman (Ed.), Handbook of research on science education, vol II (pp. 747–758). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Lachapelle, C. P., & Cunningham, C. M. (2014). Engineering in elementary schools. In S. Purzer, J. Strobel, & M. Cardella (Eds.), Engineering in pre-college settings: Synthesizing research, policy, and practices (pp. 61–88).Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.