Five Fast EiE Teacher Tips for Engineering "Marvelous Machines"

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/24/15 9:49 AM

2015.11.24_EiE_Simple_Machines.jpgIf you’re teaching “Marvelous Machines: Making Work Easier," EiE's industrial engineering unit, our collaborators at the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) have some tips for teaching Lesson 4 (“Improving a Factory Subsystem"). The lesson calls for kids to use what they’ve learned about simple machines in science class to design a model “loading dock” that helps a potato chip factory run more smoothly. Try these five fast tips to save time, reduce classroom chaos, and most importantly, enhance your students’ learning!

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Topics: Classroom Organization, EiE Teaching Tips

Ask EiE: Are Contests OK in the Engineering Classroom?

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 10/22/15 11:00 AM

EiE "Catching the Wind, Lesson 3: Designing a sail for a boat.Each Thursday on the EiE Blog we offer tips for teachers of elementary engineering.

To answer today's question, let's take a look at Lesson 3 of the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) unit Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills. This lesson engages students in designing sails with different shapes from a variety of materials. Once their sail is constructed, kids attach it to a little raft mounted on a track, turn on an electric fan to generate “wind,” and measure how far their raft sails down the track. Often, teachers like to set up more than one sail track, so that testing can proceed faster . . . but then students ask if they can race. Should you let a sailboat race be part of the activity?

See it in action: Watch this lesson!

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Topics: Classroom Organization, EiE Teaching Tips

Organize Your EiE Classroom with Four Fast Tips

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 6/18/15 11:00 AM

Every Thursday the EiE Blog brings you helpful tips for teaching elementary engineering.

When you’re getting ready to teach an EiE lesson—or when you’re in the middle of a lesson that extends over more than one class period—you have lots things to organize. 

Patty Whitehouse is the Engineering Lab teacher at Chiacgo Public Schools' Goudy Technology Academy, which means she does more organizing than most teachers. Every student in the first through fourth grades comes through her lab once a week—almost 400 students total. The school uses two or three different EiE units in each grade, so Patty often preps five different EiE lessons each day! Here’s how she stays organized:  

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Topics: Classroom Organization