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ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology

What are the relationships among science, engineering, and technology?

Introduction to ETS2.A

from A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (pages 210-211)

The fields of science and engineering are mutually supportive, and scientists and engineers often work together in teams, especially in fields at the borders of science and engineering. Advances in science offer new capabilities, new materials, or new understanding of processes that can be applied through engineering to produce advances in technology. Advances in technology, in turn, provide scientists with new capabilities to probe the natural world at larger or smaller scales; to record, manage, and analyze data; and to model ever more complex systems with greater precision. In addition, engineers’ efforts to develop or improve technologies often raise new questions for scientists’ investigation. 

Grade Band Endpoints for ETS2.A

from A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (pages 211-212)

By the end of grade 2. People encounter questions about the natural world every day. There are many types of tools produced by engineering that can be used in science to help answer these questions through observation or measurement. Observations and measurements are also used in engineering to help test and refine design ideas. 

By the end of grade 5. Tools and instruments (e.g., rulers, balances, thermometers, graduated cylinders, telescopes, microscopes) are used in scientific exploration to gather data and help answer questions about the natural world. Engineering design can develop and improve such technologies. Scientific discoveries about the natural world can often lead to new and improved technologies, which are developed through the engineering design process. Knowledge of relevant scientific concepts and research findings is important in engineering. 

By the end of grade 8. Engineering advances have led to important discoveries in virtually every field of science, and scientific discoveries have led to the development of entire industries and engineered systems. In order to design better technologies, new science may need to be explored (e.g., materials research prompted by desire for better batteries or solar cells, biological questions raised by medical problems). Technologies in turn extend the measurement, exploration, modeling, and computational capacity of scientific investigations. 

By the end of grade 12. Science and engineering complement each other in the cycle known as research and development (R&D). Many R&D projects may involve scientists, engineers, and others with wide ranges of expertise. For example, developing a means for safely and securely disposing of nuclear waste will require the participation of engineers with specialties in nuclear engineering, transportation, construction, and safety; it is likely to require as well the contributions of scientists and other professionals from such diverse fields as physics, geology, economics, psychology, and sociology.  

Performance Expectations Associated with ETS2.A

K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12

Additional Resources

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (pages 210-212)

Appendix I - Engineering Design in the NGSS

Bozemanscience Video

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