BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
In this paper we examine a case study of a pedagogical strategy that focuses on the teaching of modeling as a habit of mind and practice for novice designers engaged in engineering design challenges. In an engineering design course, pre-service teachers created modeling artifacts in the form of conceptual models, graphical models, mathematical models and finally working models. Data also came from the students’ work in the form of student-generated mind maps, design journals, final design products and their accompanying documentation, as well as peer checking procedures. The results suggest that a focus on modeling in an engineering design challenge can be beneficial to both student and instructor. Modeling not only served as a vehicle for representation, but also as an aid in assessment and documentation of students’ cognitive processes.