Technology & Engineering Challenges - Girls Outperform Boys

Have you seen The Nation’s Report Card findings from the 2018 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment? 15,400 eighth-graders’ knowledge and skills were assessed with real-world technology and engineering challenges and compared to the previous 2014 assessment. The TEL assessment measures the following three content areas 1) Technology and Society, 2) Design and Systems, and 3) Information and Communication Technology; and the following three crosscutting practice areas 1) Understanding Technological Principles, 2) Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals, and 3) Communicating and Collaborating.

Here are some of the highlights I found most promising from the 2018 findings:

  • There was a 2-point increase in the average overall TEL score.

  • Female students scored higher than their male peers in TEL overall and outperformed boys in all six areas tested.

  • Girls outscored boys with particularly large gaps in "Information and Communication Technology" and "Communicating and Collaborating".  

  • 57% of eighth-graders (up 5% from 2014) reported taking at least one class related to technology or engineering.

  • While fewer girls take a technology or engineering class, girls are still scoring higher on the assessment!

In the spirit of Technology and Engineering, I’m excited about our new Couragion Engineering Challenges launching this fall in time for ‘back to school’ to join Couragion’s Technology Challenges already being used in STEM and CS classrooms. Challenges include transdisciplinary work-based learning activities that allow students to earn micro-badges in 5 – 30 classroom hours, delivered flexibly in 30-minute segments.

Couragion Biomedical & Materials Engineering Challenge

Couragion Biomedical & Materials Engineering Challenge

Couragion leveraged labor market information (LMI) and industry job skill requirements to prioritize and design the Engineering Challenges around the following disciplines:  Mechanical, Electrical, Manufacturing, Biomedical, Materials, and Environmental Engineering. Like the TEL, Couragion marries the attainment of content knowledge with the ability to put that knowledge into practice through contextualized challenges.

Couragion’s Engineering Challenges are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the new Engineering For US All (E4USA) curriculum.

Reach out to for a demo or to learn more about Couragion’s Engineering Challenges.


Here’s a link to the TEL assessment:


Melissa RisteffComment