Engineering the Future


Engineering the Future is the most life-like engineering course I’ve ever taught. It’s real engineering. The students used lathes, plastic welders and saws in constructing organizers. We designed and built forms for a concrete I-beam. One girl suddenly realized all the planning and work involved when she did it herself.”

-- John Burns, high school teacher, Agawam, MA

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

All Students




Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Engineering the Future (EtF) offers an inspiring first-hand look at how real life engineers approach everyday engineering problems through hands-on activities that support student engagement. Studies show that EtF boosts students' knowledge of and interest in engineering, helps students put engineering concepts into practice, and enhances teachers' abilities to teach engineering principles.


Program Overview

Engineering the Future: Science, Technology, and the Design Process (EtF) is a full-year ninth-grade course designed to introduce students to the world of technology and engineering as a first step in becoming technologically literate citizens.

Etf helps today's high school students understand the ways in which they will engineer the world of the future — whether or not they choose to pursue technical careers. The program provides students with opportunities to see science, mathematics, and engineering as part of their everyday lives and to value scientific and technological literacy.

EtF is an adaptable, affordable, standards-based modular STEM curriculum. It employs a series of engineering design challenges which seek solutions to inquiry-based problems via need-to-know discovery learning. Student teams apply mathematics and science through sequential tasks in four distinct, engaging, term-length projects. Teacher professional development is provided by the developer and publisher in face-to-face workshops, a four-week moderated online course, and customized sessions.

Funders and Partners

Museum of Science, Boston; National Center for Technological Literacy; Lockheed Martin; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Key Curriculum Press; National Institute of Standards; U.S. Small Business Administration; Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust; The Highland Street Foundation; It's About Time publishing


Lee Pulis, Teacher Educator

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.