Seven Superfun Eco-themed Engineering Activities

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 4/20/17 11:00 AM

2016.07.19_Engineering_Everywhere_logo.jpgHappy Earth Day! Are you looking to incorporate some eco-themed activities into your afterschool or summer camp curriculum? Here are seven superfun curriculum units from EiE's afterschool programs Engineering Adventures and Engineering Everywhere, all with a focus on protecting our planet! Lesson plans are FREE to download—just click the links below.

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Topics: Out-of-School time

Singing Along With Preschool Engineers

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/18/17 11:15 AM

PreK-EDP-resized.jpgEven before we began designing our preschool curriculum, Wee Engineer, we knew that we would have to create new activities, different context-setting tools, and even a new Engineering Design Process (EDP). But we never thought we’d be trying our hand at songwriting! At EiE, we have a very involved curriculum development process. We meet with teachers and specialists and learn what works in the classroom. During an early Wee Engineer focus group, a teacher suggested setting the steps of the EDP to music with accompanying dance moves, because it would help teachers reinforce the vocabulary with their kids. The other teachers enthusiastically agreed, and they convinced us that an EDP Song would enhance the curriculum and get kids excited about the process they were engaging in. Never to be intimidated, our curriculum team got together to figure how to engineer the perfect EDP song.

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Free Literacy Resources for Your Engineering Classroom

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/13/17 11:00 AM

AH0A5329.jpgYou probably know EiE engineering curriculum aligns with the science curriculum you already teach. But did you know that we designed our curriculum to support literacy instruction as well? We believe that literacy resources, like our context-setting storybooks, enhance all of our units—for instance, students are engaged and excited about designing a maglev transportation system after they read our engineering story about Hikaru, a young boy designing a technology to help his family’s toy store. And when students take on the roles of farmers and bugs in a play about pest control, they’ll feel immersed in the world of agriculture and ready to design hand pollinators. Because we know literacy learning and engineering instruction can go hand in hand, we’ve designed additional educator resources for educators who want to strengthen the literacy connections in their classrooms and/or afterschool programs. In honor of National Library Week, we wanted to share some with you!

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You’ll Go Wild for These Four Animal-Themed Engineering Activities

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/11/17 11:00 AM

elephant.jpgAt EiE, we’ve learned that the best way to get kids interested in engineering is to connect to a subject they care about. Every kid is different—some might be interested in transportation technologies, while others would rather learn about ice cream. But we know that many kids share a common interest: caring for and protecting animals. Engineering can play a big part in the care and keeping of animals, and we’ve seen how much that can motivate kids to design and improve technologies. In honor of National Pet Day, check out these storybooks and in- and out-of-school-time curriculum units, guaranteed to be a wild success in your classroom or OST program!

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

You're Invited: Learn Effective Questioning Strategies for the Engineering Classroom

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 4/6/17 11:00 AM

So you’re teaching engineering to your elementary students. And today they’re designing a technology—perhaps a solar oven or a water filter. One group comes up with an unusually
A teacher examines a windmill
What can you say when a windmill doesn’t work?
creative design . . . but it doesn’t quite work as expected. Now what?

For maximum learning impact, you want to be ready with prompts that help your students do their own problem solving. In other words, you need effective questioning strategies! You can learn more about these strategies when you attend an interactive online learning session from Engineering is Elementary, scheduled for April 26, 2017.

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Topics: Professional Development

Five Tips for Teaching Engineering to English Learners

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/4/17 11:00 AM

AH0A5132-4.jpgThe EiE team is committed to making engineering accessible to all students, including the fastest-growing student population in the U.S. in the last decade—English Learners. It’s why we offer Spanish translations of storybooks and student worksheets to everyone that has purchased an EiE unit (call our customer service team at (617) 589-0230 to learn more). We know that even when you have the resources, it can feel intimidating to begin an engineering curriculum in a classroom with English Learners. But teachers have told us that the risk is worth the reward—even though EiE requires a lot of thought and preparation, they’ve seen how EiE excites and engages their English Learner populations. Karissa Weiler; a third-grade teacher at Keeling Elementary in Tuscon, Arizona; loves using EiE with her kids. After we visited her school to shoot some classroom videos, we knew we had to share some of her strategies—when you see her class in action, we think you’ll agree! Check out Karissa’s five tips below and scroll to the bottom to watch our brand
new video.

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Surprise! Announcing Three New Engineering Adventures Units

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/1/17 11:00 AM

dinoDNA.jpgUPDATE: Happy April Fools' Day! We hope you enjoyed our joke this year. If this got you thinking about OST engineering, check out our real Engineering Adventures units!

Here at EiE, we’re always innovating exciting new ways to teach engineering to kids of all ages. Spring is a time of renewal. So we decided it was the perfect time to think outside the box and expand our units to subjects that today’s kids really care about—pressing issues like the containment of prehistoric beasts, ghost population control, and the sustainable development of time traveling devices. Read on to learn more about our three newest Engineering Adventures units!

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Behind the Scenes of Our Preschool Pilot Tests

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 3/28/17 11:00 AM

AH0A7682RAW_1.jpgAt EiE, we’re constantly improving our curriculum as we discover more about how children learn. Our preschool pilot tests have been full of surprises and insights. Our testing has shown us how much preschoolers love to learn, but it’s also taught us that sometimes children’s knowledge of the properties of materials doesn’t override their drive to use the coolest-looking material—at least not at first! Katy Laguzza, the senior curriculum developer and lead of our Early Childhood project, shared a hilarious scene she observed in a preschool classroom that helped our team to understand the unique perspectives of preschoolers. The class was engineering a raft (a CD) to float a toy above water. To make the raft float, they would choose materials to attach to the bottom of the CD using Velcro.

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Reach for the Sky with Four Flight-Themed Engineering Activities

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 3/23/17 11:00 AM

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There’s nothing quite like a room full of kids testing aeronautical technologies—it’s exciting, uplifting, and so much fun! When kids watch a technology they engineered fly through the air, it makes the act of testing designs into a spectacle and helps them visualize the amazing things they can accomplish when they use the Engineering Design Process. Between our in-school curriculum and our (free!) out-of-school-time curriculum, there are plenty of EiE units that will help the young engineers in your program soar to new heights.

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Meet Common Core Standards: Add Engineering to the Mix

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 3/21/17 11:00 AM

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A total of 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and English Language Arts. An engaging and effective way to meet these standards is through classroom engineering—and Engineering is Elementary offers convenient CCSS Alignment Guides to help you make the connections.

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Topics: Implementing EiE