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Nathan Mentzer

Assistant Professor
Engineering / Technology Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Department of Industrial Technology


Professor Mentzer's scholarship focuses on the intersection of secondary education and design thinking. He is currently considering the following aspects of design thinking:

1. How to measure student design thinking?
2. What experiences help scaffold learning and improvement of design thinking?
3. What are the impacts of fully implemented designs as compared to conceptual design on student learning?
4. What are the impacts of "real world" design challenges with societal implications compared to context-less problem solving?

Woven into the above questions are the complexities of motivation, achievement, technological literacy, STEM integration and underrepresented population impacts.


Ph.D. Utah State University, 2008, Curriculum & Instruction
M.S. Montana State University, 2001, Curriculum & Instruction
B.S. Montana State University, 1999, Technology Education

Selected Publications

  • Mentzer, N. (2008). Academic performance as a predictor of student growth in achievement and mental motivation during an engineering design challenge in engineering and technology education. Proceedings of the Graduate Student Research in Engineering and Technology Education, 97-100. St. Paul: University of Minnesota.

  • Mentzer, N., Mentzer, F., & Jones, K. (2008). Join the mission, design a patch.
    Technology and Children, 12(4).

  • Daugherty, J. & Mentzer, N. (2008). Analogical reasoning in the engineering design process and technology education applications. Journal of Technology Education, 19(2), 6-20.


2009- Present

Assistant Professor, Industrial Technology Department, College of Technology
Joint appointment Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, West Lafayette, IN


Post Doctoral Research Associate, National Center for Engineering and Technology Education, Logan, UT


Middle and High School Technology Education Teacher, Darby Public Schools, Darby, MT


IT278 Teaching Construction Technology
IT 277 Teaching Manufacturing Technology
EDCI 498G Supervised Teaching