An AP Exam in Engineering?
The College Board is increasingly using the Advanced Placement exams as a kind of intervention into high school STEM education, and even attempting to influence university education. The new Biology AP course and exam is explicitly aimed at reforming biology education and is based on the latest education research. Now, the College Board is thinking about moving into engineering, which supports multiple efforts to create more K-12 engineering education, e.g. Georgia Tech just won a grant to teach manufacturing principles in high school. I think it’s in this spirit that the College Board is working with NSF to create the new hope-to-be AP in CS:Principles. Can we use AP CS as a lever to change undergraduate CS education?
At U.S. News’s Making Science Cool event last Tuesday, he said the organization was “exploring the potential of more AP courses in engineering, energy, environment, and anatomy.” Don’t look for the new subjects anytime soon. Development of a new AP course can take up to six years as teachers and professors develop class curricula and the AP exam before smaller groups pilot the new course, according to Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and college readiness for the College Board.