The demand for engineering talent is increasing with economic and societal developments. Along with this, nations worldwide are attaching increasing importance to engineering education under international science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives. In China, engineering education at university levels is dominant. Corresponding systemic engineering education at the K-12 level has yet to be established. With the aim of determining the status of K-12 engineering education, this study investigates the impacts of students’ participation in engineering practice on their attitudes toward engineering. Survey responses from a sample of 2,193 students from junior secondary schools in Shanghai, China, are used. Sample selection bias is mitigated using propensity score methods based on weight hierarchy. The findings indicate the status of student participation in engineering practice and reveal the significant effect of the level of student participation in engineering practice on students’ attitudes toward engineering at junior secondary schools in China.