technology and engineering

Girls outpace boys in tech and engineering problem solving

First-ever Nation’s Report Card for Technology and Engineering Literacy measures how eighth graders solve real-world problems using innovative scenario-based tasks on computers

White and black female students outperformed their male peers in technology and engineering literacy, according to the first-ever nationally representative assessment of technology and engineering literacy from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). But gaps remain as less than half scored at either the proficient or advanced level.

Forty-three percent of eighth-grade students performed at or above proficiency on questions related to skills in thinking through problems systematically, including using technology and engineering information built into each task to arrive at the best solution.

The assessment used scenario-based tasks on computers to measure the eighth-grade students’ understanding of the use and effects of technology in their lives. Students interacted with multimedia tasks using a variety of tools to solve practical problems.

The NAEP: Technology and Engineering Literacy (also known as The Nation’s Report Card) also examines students’ performance and related experiences in and out of school.

“This assessment requires students to examine evidence, ask and answer challenging questions, and choose the right tools for the problem at hand. This is the exact kind of thinking that the modern world demands at home and in the workplace, no matter the career path,” said said Terry Mazany, Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP.

Next page: How students developed technology and engineering skills

Laura Ascione

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