EiE Superstars of 2016

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 12/8/16 11:00 AM

When we develop EiE curricula, we hope that educators will be inspired to take engineering learning to the next level. Every year, we are blown away by the stories we hear about the creative and unexpected ways that educators implement and build upon our curricula. From creating dances based on simple machines to inspiring students to help kids in crisis, here are the stories of a small sample of the many superstar educators who exemplify the values of EiE.

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Topics: Profiles

Engineering is Perfect for K–5 Project-Based Learning

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 12/6/16 11:00 AM

Kids designing parachutes
These students designed parachutes to land a space rover on another planet!

Check last month's education news and you'll notice third graders at a school in Cleveland designed a restaurant, middle schoolers in Cincinnati were tending beehives, and sixth graders in Michigan strategized about how to protect Earth from the damaging effects of solar flares. These somewhat offbeat activities are part of a wider trend to make project-based learning a fundamental aspect of the school day.

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Topics: Early Childhood STEM Education

Announcing New Snippets and Classroom Videos

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 12/1/16 11:00 AM

behind the scenes-resized.jpgHere at EiE, we know that nothing compares to watching young engineers at work in your own classroom. So we strive to bring you the next best thing—a collection of videos that range from snippets that show short vignettes of engineering in action to in-depth classroom videos that take you through units in classrooms around the U.S., lesson by lesson. We’re happy to announce 14 new snippets and 2 new classroom videos featuring the units A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls and Now You’re Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens. 
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Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers

STEAM and Theater: An Enlightening Combination

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 11/29/16 11:00 AM

Theatre-resized.jpgWhen we wrote the storybook Omar’s Time to Shine, the story of a boy named Omar in Egypt who designs a lighting system for his school play, we never could have imagined that it would find its way into the hands of a volunteer who leads STEAM activities in Park City, Utah’s historic Egyptian Theatre. You might call that kind of alignment “serendipitous.” Wendi Laurence certainly does! When Wendi attended an EiE Teacher Educator Institute and found the Lighten Up unit, she immediately knew that it would be a blockbuster success in the Egyptian Theatre’s YouTheatre STEAM program. Of course, the story begins a little earlier than that—with an idea and a napkin!

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Resources for K-5 Engineering Are Just a Click Away!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/17/16 11:00 AM

Screenshot of where to find the resources

Your EiE Teacher Guide offers more than just lesson plans; it has teaching tips, assessment, and other useful extras. Did you know the EiE website is also packed with handy resources that help you teach elementary engineering? With our latest web redesign, these helpful teaching tools are more find-able than ever! Just click the “EiE Resources” tab and let us take you on a tour . . .

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

A Lesson Comes to Life as Students Recreate EiE Storybook Scenario

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/15/16 11:00 AM

storybook cover collage-resized.jpgEiE storybook characters are diverse by design. There are 20 different protagonists, all from different backgrounds, races, family situations, and abilities, and it’s for one good reason: students feel inspired when they read stories about someone they can identify with.

This intentional diversity was a plus for Claudine Conover, a PreK-5 science teacher at a small school in the Bronx, as she searched for STEM lessons that would resonate with her students.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Investigating Materials Properties is an Engineering Habit of Mind

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 11/10/16 11:00 AM

2016.02.16_Habits_of_Mind_Logo-resized.jpgWe’ve told you about EiE’s engineering habits of mind—positive strategies for problem solving that help define success not only in engineering but also across the curriculum. At EiE, we believe that a well-designed engineering curriculum can help students develop as many as 16 unique engineering habits of mind. Investigating the properties and uses of materials is a habit of mind that is an essential foundation to engineering education—it allows students to make informed decisions as they plan, create, and improve their technologies.

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Topics: Engineering Habits of Mind

How EiE Works for Gifted and Talented Populations

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 11/8/16 11:00 AM

testing-resized.jpgWe’ve told you about how EiE meets the needs of many student populations, like English Learners and students with diverse needs, but there’s one population benefitting from EiE that may surprise you: students in gifted and talented (GT) programs. This week at the National Association for Gifted Children’s 2016 conference, EiE’s Chris San Antonio-Tunis presented his preliminary research about EiE’s impact on GT populations to a standing-room-only crowd. He shared a few reasons why real teachers from around the country love using EiE in their gifted and talented classrooms.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Top 7 Tips for Getting a STEM Grant

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/3/16 11:00 AM

Make your dream a reality

Maybe you’ve had this frustrating experience: You’ve identified a curriculum that you’re excited about. You feel confident it will help your school meet STEM education goals AND it will be engaging for kids. But budgets are tight and there’s no funding to make it happen. This is
not the end of the story! Consider applying for
a grant.

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Topics: Scholarships and Awards

Helping a Boy in Haiti: Engineering Makes Real-World Connections

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/1/16 11:00 AM

Presenting our EDP
California teacher Camie Walker has become an advocate for elementary engineering.

When Camie Walker chose an EiE activity for her fifth-grade classroom two years ago, she was thinking about how the lessons would complement her plans for English Language Arts instruction. She never expected that the real-world engineering design challenge would help her students become more resilient in the face of failure . . . or move them to meaningful social action on behalf of a young boy left destitute by a natural disaster.

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Topics: Implementing EiE