Early Engineering (k-8)

The idea that Engineering is the key to engaging kids in STEM subjects is intriguing. Looking at the college engineering curriculum, it is clear that teaching engineering presumes that one can’t possibly understand engineering without advance courses in calculus which requires algebra, and physics, and depending on the branch of engineering – chemistry, biology. But that isn’t very helpful for recruiting all the middle schoolers who would be great engineers.

Kids in kindergarten through sixth grade are still curious, willing to fail as part of learn something interesting to them. Most K-8 teachers can handle the math, science and technology as defined by guidelines, curriculum maps and Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. However, teachers have a problem including engineering – yes, that’s the E in STEM.

So this is the challenge. What can we do to close the gap?

  • Support teachers so they are ready, willing and able to encourage engineering thinking and skills. * Engineering 4 Kids (e4k) – annotated links to recent resources, activities, news
  • Create learning opportunities for kids to discover engineering for themselves and/or facilitated by grown-ups without subject matter expertise as the "guide on the side". * wikispaces – stories, activities

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