Hands-on engineering activities empower young children to see themselves as problem solvers. They learn that there’s more than one way to solve a problem, and that it’s okay to fail and try again. A classroom-tested engineering design challenge with an age-appropriate engineering design process will provide fun and engaging opportunities for the youngest learners. We found in creating our early childhood curricula that engineering activities should look different in preschool in comparison to kindergarten. Learn about those differences below and why age-appropriate engineering activities are so important.
Wednesday, September 5
How can you make engineering even more fun? Try it out with the whole family! Educators often tell us amazing stories about students that began engineering in the classroom, then took it upon themselves to bring their designs home and improve them with the help of family and friends. When students take their engineering work home, they become the experts. They can impress their families with their knowledge of engineering, technology, and the Engineering Design Process, and they might even teach their parents something new! We compiled a list of four units with simple and fun testing procedures that use materials students can find at home or transport easily from the classroom. If you’re looking for a fun, hands-on way to get families involved in students’ STEM lessons, these units are the perfect way to keep the learning going after the school day ends!
How much do you know about engineering? Think you can spot common misconceptions about the field of engineering?
Early Engineering | Pre-K | Preschool | Wee Engineer | Early Childhood STEM Education | Tuesday, September 11
Before creating our preschool curriculum Wee Engineer, we knew that it was important to answer these questions, "Why engineer with preschoolers?" and “How will engineering support early childhood development?” Preschoolers make a lot of things, and our challenge was to channel this natural inclination of children into an engineering activity that would align with the skills they’re already developing. We conducted hours of research, consulted with many early childhood educators, and tested our activities in various early childhood settings with the goal of answering the above question.
Through this work, we identified several ways in which engineering is beneficial to young children as they develop skills in these important learning domains: social-emotional, language acquisition, executive functioning, and fine and gross motor skills.
Pre-K | Early Engineering | Preschool | Early Childhood STEM Education | Thursday, August 30
Reading to young children sets them up to succeed in more ways than one! Stories are powerful tools that can help young children build empathy, develop language skills, discover the world around them, and learn more about the concepts they’ll learn later on in their schooling. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for great STEM books to read with young learners (3-5). These age-appropriate STEM storybooks will help make STEM accessible to them and spark an early interest in these subjects.
EiE Resources for Teachers | Tuesday, May 22
One of EiE’s design principles is to set all of our units in a real-world context to give students an idea of what engineers really do. Because of this, we’re constantly finding connections to our units in the news and in viral videos. But nothing makes us happier than hearing about EiE educators who make local and global connections in their own classrooms! We’re always blown away by the creative ways that educators inspire their students, and today we wanted to share some of their stories with you.