Teaching Engineering

5E Model of Instruction

The 5Es Instructional Model is a pedagogical framework for structuring science and engineering lessons. It centers around an inquiry-driven learning process where students learn through hands-on exploration.

BSCS 5E instructional model by Bybee (2019)


 The students are presented a place-based or problem-based situation that promotes curiosity and elicits current knowledge about STEM disciplines. The situation should make connections between past and present learning experiences, expose current ideas about STEM disciplines, and organize students’ thinking toward the learning outcomes for the STEM unit.


Exploration experiences provide students with a common base of activities within which the teacher may identify current knowledge, processes, and skills relative to the STEM disciplines. Note that these experiences also serve as formative assessments of students’ current knowledge. Learners may complete activities that help them use prior knowledge to generate new ideas, explore questions, and design and conduct investigations about the problem presented in the engage phase.


The explanation phase focuses students’ attention on particular aspects of their engagement and exploration experiences and provides opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and skills relative to STEM disciplines. In this phase, students construct meaning from their experiences in prior phases and teachers directly clarify concepts, practices, or skills relative to STEM disciplines. Further questions from the teacher or other resources may guide learners toward a deeper understanding of STEM disciplines, which is a critical part of this phase. Students’ responses to the teacher’s definitions of STEM provide informal assessment.


Activities challenge and extend students’ understanding and skills. Through additional experiences, the students develop deeper and broader understanding, more information, and adequate skills. Students apply their understanding of the concept and abilities of STEM disciplines by additional activities, investigations, or problems.


The evaluation phase encourages students to assess their understanding and abilities and allows teachers to evaluate student progress toward achieving the learning outcomes about STEM disciplines.

Bybee, R. W. (2019). Using the BSCS 5E instructional model to introduce STEM disciplines. Science and Children, 56(6), 8-12.