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Early Childhood STEM Education | Wee Engineer | Early Engineering | Pre-K | Preschool | Tuesday, September 11

Singing Along With Preschool Engineers

Even before we began designing our preschool curriculum, Wee Engineer, we knew that we would have to create new activities, different context-setting tools, and even a new Engineering Design Process (EDP). But we never thought we’d be trying our hand at songwriting! At EiE, we have a very involved curriculum development process. We meet with teachers and specialists and learn what works in the classroom. During an early Wee Engineer focus group, a teacher suggested setting the steps of the EDP to music with accompanying dance moves, because it would help teachers reinforce the vocabulary with their kids. The other teachers enthusiastically agreed, and they convinced us that an EDP Song would enhance the curriculum and get kids excited about the process they were engaging in. Never to be intimidated, our curriculum team got together to figure how to engineer the perfect EDP song.

 

Download a sample lesson from Wee Engineer

Early Childhood STEM Education | Tuesday, October 9

Behind the Scenes of Our Preschool Pilot Tests

At EiE, we’re constantly improving our curriculum as we discover more about how children learn. Our preschool pilot tests have been full of surprises and insights. Our testing has shown us how much preschoolers love to learn, but it’s also taught us that sometimes children’s knowledge of the properties of materials doesn’t override their drive to use the coolest-looking material—at least not at first! Katy Laguzza, the senior curriculum developer and lead of our Early Childhood project, shared a hilarious scene she observed in a preschool classroom that helped our team to understand the unique perspectives of preschoolers. The class was engineering a raft (a CD) to float a toy above water. To make the raft float, they would choose materials to attach to the bottom of the CD using Velcro.

Early Childhood STEM Education | Pre-K | Preschool | Wee Engineer | Early Engineering | Wednesday, September 26

Creating an Engineering Design Process for the Preschool Classroom

Engineering = hands-on play in a framework

When our son was three, he would spend hours playing with wooden blocks, making a highway for toy cars, a pen for toy animals, or just the highest tower he could stack. We didn’t think of it this way, but he was engineering.

Early childhood educators have always recognized how building with blocks (and similar hands-on activities) help children develop motor skills while at the same time exercising their creativity. But these activities can also be framed as authentic engineering. That’s something the EiE curriculum team is working on right now: a framework for preschool engineering.

Want to see what a sample lesson from our preschool engineering curriculum Wee Engineer looks like? 

Download a sample lesson from Wee Engineer

Early Childhood STEM Education | Tuesday, December 6

Engineering is Perfect for K–5 Project-Based Learning

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.

Early Childhood STEM Education | Thursday, May 10

Guest Post: Kindergarten Design Workshop is EiE-Inspired!

What happens when you direct the energy and imagination of a kindergartener into the engineering design process? That’s the question my colleagues and I set out to answer last year at Kingsley Montessori School in Boston when we decided to develop a Kindergarten Engineering Design Workshop. One source of inspiration was the Engineering is Elementary curriculum.

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