Last month, our founder and director, Christine Cunningham, was awarded a Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. Christine was recognized in the U.S. K-12 Education category for “pioneering a curriculum that is transforming education by introducing engineering concepts and practices at the elementary level.” Her acceptance speech at the ASU/GSV Summit moved the crowd and highlighted EiE’s commitment to making engineering accessible to ALL students.
Watch Christine’s full speech on the McGraw-Hill website to learn how everything from her parents’ love of science to her experiences as one of the few female biology majors in Tufts inspired her to change the landscape of elementary engineering education. She describes her three guiding principles: creating the problem solvers of the future, using education as a powerful tool for social justice, and innovating for the realities of schools as they exist today. And she makes sure to thank our greatest allies and supporters: elementary classroom teachers. Here’s a sneak peek:
Classroom teachers are experts. Unfortunately, today their expertise is often largely unacknowledged and unsolicited, while external mandates laid out by actors far removed from the ground truths and from children shape decisions about policies and instruction. Classroom teachers understand children. They know how to make concepts developmentally accessible at their grade levels and what approaches will lead to success. They know what works for the highly diverse pupils in their classrooms. They know what is realistic in their settings—what materials they can scrounge up and what time they might be able to carve out for new endeavors. Most importantly, teachers care very, very deeply about their students.
We encourage you to visit the McGraw-Hill website to check out the whole speech, and check some highlights of the ceremony below. Christine thanks all of you for continuing to support, test, and implement EiE throughout the years. She shares this award with you!