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Abstract

stract This study measured the information gathering behaviors of high school students who had taken engineering design courses as they solved a design problem. The authors investigated what types of information students accessed, its quality, when it was accessed during the students’ process, and if it impacted their thinking during the activity. Students overwhelmingly relied on internet searching to acquire information, rather than printed materials available to them. The sites they found were generally popular rather than technical, and persuasive (i.e., trying to sell something) rather than informative. The high school students understood the need for information, as they sought a large volume of information, which they did, generally, incorporate in their solution development process, but their skill in locating high-quality information was relatively poor.

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