Improving Science Scores of Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities through Engineering Problem Solving Activities

A. Leyf Peirce Starling, MAT

University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Ya-Yu Lo, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Christopher J. Rivera, Ph.D.

East Carolina University


This study evaluated the differential effects of three different science teaching methods, namely engineering teaching kit (ETK), explicit instruction (EI), and a combination of the two methods (ETK+EI), in two sixth-grade science classrooms. Twelve students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participated in this study. The dependent variables included students’ performance on daily quizzes covering the material taught in that day’s lesson and students’ performance on a pretest and two posttests covering the steps of the engineering problem solving process. Using a multiple probe across science units design, we demonstrated that both the ETK and EI interventions alone increased the participants’ quiz scores, with the combined method (ETK+EI) producing slightly better results in most participants. Students’ understanding of the engineering problem solving process also improved after being exposed to the ETK method. Limitations, suggestions for future research, and practical applications are discussed.

Read or Download Instructions

To Read this Article - Left Click Here (login required)

To Download this Article - Right Click Here (login required)
(choose "save", "save target as" or "save as")

To Download the Entire WINTER 2015 Issue of JAASEP - Click Here  (login required)

AASEP MEMBERS LOGIN to Access live links to all available JAASEP issues.

Not a Member?

If you are a member of AASEP, please login to freely access this and all archived issues of JAASEP

If you are NOT A MEMBER of AASEP or NASET you may purchase this article from  the WINTER 2015 issue of JAASEP for $4.95 (use the Buy Now button below):

OR - Buy the entire issue of JAASEP Winter 2015 for $19.95 by using the Buy Now Botton below:

OR - Join AASEP Today and receive access to this and all past issues of JAASEP -

Join AASEP Here

Return to the Table of Contents - Click Here

To top