University of Vermont

Professional Development

Vermont Engineering Initiative

Welcome to the Vermont Engineering Initiative (VEI) at the University of Vermont. VEI is a collaborative platform for k-12 teachers to explore engineering design and STEM education.

Our goal is to empower teachers to successfully implement engineering design in the classroom in accordance with the Next Generation Science Standards. We offer training opportunities, community support and connection to the vibrant faculty, research and facilities of UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

Engineering is the application of science to problem solving. Design is the creative expression of knowledge.

The new common core and Next Generation Science standards are articulations of vision meant to give guidance to individual teachers. The reality is that more is needed. The education community needs to come together to share knowledge and practice in a collaborative problem-solving challenge. The task is how do we best guide, challenge and support those who will be in the classroom with the K-12 STEM students of tomorrow? The answer lies in Polya’s recipe and the practice of engineering design.

A design cannot just be a thought. It must be expressed in some material form, and this expression must be creative. If the creative expression is one of 'emotion' then we can say it is 'art'. If it is an expression of knowledge then it is 'design'. Most creative expressions are a combination of both 'art' and 'design'. A sculptor will use his knowledge of clay and casting to 'design' his sculpture so that his or her intended emotion can be conveyed to the viewer as 'art'. Similarly, a manufactured article (a product) will be mainly a manifestation of knowledge (design) but still with an emotional input to the form, appearance, packaging and marketing (art).


Last modified April 13 2015 04:46 PM