Closing the Gender Gap: EiE Founder Shares Insights at AtlanticLIVE Event

Posted by EiE Team on 11/2/17 11:00 AM

Cracking the Code In September, our founder and director, Christine Cunningham, was invited to participate in “Cracking the Code: The Next Generation of Women in STEM”, hosted by AtlanticLIVE. Alongside other STEM education researchers, corporate leaders, and prolific children’s book author Andrea Beatty, Christine participated in discussions that aimed to answer the question: how do you get more girls and women interested in STEM fields? Christine first noticed the trend of capable women and girls dropping out of STEM fields when her female classmates began disappearing from science classes. She has dedicated her career to battling the misconceptions and stereotypes that keep underrepresented populations out of STEM. Over the course of the day-long event, she shared valuable insights into the lack of female representation in science and engineering that she’s gained over more than a decade at the helm of EiE.

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Topics: Engineering for All

EiE and MathWorks Team Up to Support Local Educators

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/31/17 11:00 AM

EIE.jpgOur team is always looking for more ways to support elementary teachers. We listen closely to teachers, and we hear them express their need for financial support to underwrite the costs of professional development and materials. We are so pleased to have a partner in MathWorks, the Natick-based software company that is funding professional development opportunities for Massachusetts educators for the second year in a row. This year, the EiE/MathWorks scholarship program is bringing engineering to Haverhill Public Schools.

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Tackle STEM with EiE

Posted by EiE Team on 10/26/17 11:00 AM

AH0A3508.jpgFootball season is in full swing and the EiE staff is excited to root for their favorite teams—and to toss around the personalized football that we were happy to receive from our friends at Colorado STEMworks! If the middle schoolers in your afterschool program also have football fever, we have a timely engineering activity for you to implement. Our Engineering Everywhere unit Put a Lid On It: Engineering Safety Helmets introduces youth to the field of biomechanical engineering—a field of engineering that combines mechanical engineering and biology—as they explore the design and construction of helmets. We’ve found that youth are most engaged with engineering when they’re working on problems that connect to their own lives, and Put a Lid On It is the perfect opportunity to engage your kids with compelling real-world connections to football—one of the most popular sports in the United States.

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Topics: Out-of-School time

What Does It Take to Build a National EiE Pilot Test?

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/24/17 11:00 AM

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The EiE team creates every curriculum unit using extensive feedback from our closest collaborators: educators! Each unit undergoes multiple rounds of pilot testing to ensure that educators can implement engineering with ease and students can have a rich learning experience. Our quality control doesn’t stop at the educator guide—we make sure every pipe cleaner bends just right, and that our smiley-face erasers aren’t too distracting for preschoolers. We carefully select and test each material so that by the time an EiE kit arrives in an educator’s classroom, they can feel confident that it works! This fall, we’re piloting units from our preschool, kindergarten, and afterschool curricula, supplemental curriculum materials, and digital storybooks. EiE staff are assembling 81 pilot kits by hand to send to sites across the country. To give you an idea of just how many pom-poms and purple foam sheets that entails, we created an infographic breaking down what it takes to orchestrate a national EiE pilot.

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What Do You Learn at a Teacher Educator Institute?

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/19/17 11:00 AM

Building a tower
Build your knowledge.

One of EiE’s crowning achievements is our Professional Development (PD) program. Elementary educators who come into our workshops knowing almost nothing about engineering leave feeling like EiE experts. But as much as our PD staff would love to show every single teacher the best practices to implement EiE, they can’t be everywhere at once. So when a district or school needs to prepare many teachers to implement EiE and provide the long-term support they know their teachers need, they send their professional development providers to one of our Teacher Educator Institutes.

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Topics: Professional Development

3 Teacher-Tested Ways to Create STEM Curriculum that Engages All Students

Posted by Amielle Major on 10/17/17 11:00 AM

EAH0A0024-1.jpgiE aims to create the next generation of problem solvers. To achieve this we know our engineering curricula needs to engage ALL students. When our founder Christine Cunningham started the EiE project, she realized she had an incredible opportunity to introduce a new discipline to students without worrying about previous experiences, entrenched models of learning, or biases against the subject. She began this process in earnest by reviewing literature on elementary school STEM education and talking to educators and engineers about what elementary engineering could look like. From this research, Cunningham and the EiE research team identified the fourteen inclusive design principles that we still use today to develop our curricula.

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Topics: Engineering for All

You're Invited: Free Online PD in November!

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/12/17 11:00 AM

AH0A7412-1-1.jpgThis November, the EiE professional development team is offering two free webinars designed to improve your teaching practice: on November 8, "Effective Questioning Strategies for Your STEM Classroom" and on November 15, "Meaningful Integration of STEM in Elementary Classrooms." In these sessions, you'll learn from the experts as you study classroom footage, align lessons to national standards, test out new questioning strategies, and more! Read on to learn more about these interactive, one-hour sessions and register today!

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Spooktacular Halloween Modifications for Classroom Engineering

Posted by EiE Team on 10/10/17 11:00 AM

EIE.jpgIn every EiE unit, we challenge students to solve a real-world problem with the Engineering Design Process. But around our favorite holidays, we can’t help but brainstorm fantastical design challenge contexts that fit the season. This past spring, we suggested out-of-this-world EiE modifications for Star Wars Day. This month, we’re bringing you some Halloween-themed modifications for spooky engineering fun in your classroom!

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EiE Teacher Tip: Five Strategies for Teaching English Learners

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/5/17 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, family letters, and student handouts for every unit (find them in the Resource tab of each unit page). 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 a video of her young engineers!

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Three Materials Management Tips for Hands-On Learning

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/3/17 11:00 AM

EIE.jpgEffective materials management is key to the success of a hands-on, inquiry-based program like EiE. In each teacher guide, our curriculum team included tips to help educators prepare student workstations and organize their classrooms. We developed many of these tips based on the teacher feedback we received during the development process. But we’re always listening to and responding to educators’ feedback, even after the development process is done. In our quest to make teachers’ days easier, we developed additional resources to guide them as they teach EiE. Check out these three resources to make materials management a breeze this school year!

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips