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Engineering Habits of Mind | Thursday, May 25

Beyond Memorization: Engineering Helps Kids See the Big Picture

The students in Jean Facchiano's fourth-grade class have spent the morning engineering their own models of permeable membranes, using ordinary kitchen supplies like sponges, coffee filters, and perforated aluminum foil. The goal is to design a system that lets water drip into a frog habitat, keeping the container slightly damp, not dry or flooded.

Each group of students has come up with their own unique system for controlling water flow into the habitat. Now, in the video below, the students present their results. It's not just a show-and-tell; it's a concise demonstration of elementary students starting to apply their systems-thinking skills.

Engineering Habits of Mind | Monday, May 22

Teaching Ethics: It's More Important Than Ever

Today’s guest blogger is Kate Sokol, a curriculum designer for EiE.

As a curriculum writer for Engineering is Elementary, I’m always thinking about developing activities that promote engineering habits of mind. Many habits of mind; like “collaboration,” “communication,” and “creativity”; naturally integrate with the type of hands-on engineering activities that we develop, and are often used to describe the work of engineers. Other habits, like the call for “ethical considerations,” require deliberate reflection to fully integrate into the K-8 classroom. The idea of ethics in engineering may seem like a daunting topic to navigate with students, but the power of critical thinking and the opportunity for students to consider the impact of their decisions has never been more important.

Engineering Habits of Mind | Tuesday, January 24

Assessing the Implications of Solutions is an Engineering Habit of Mind

Today’s guest blogger is Kate Sokol, a curriculum designer for EiE.

As a curriculum writer for Engineering is Elementary, I’m always thinking about developing activities that promote engineering habits of mind. Many habits of mind; like “collaboration,” “communication,” and “creativity”; naturally integrate with the type of hands-on engineering activities that we develop, and are often used to describe the work of engineers. Other habits, like the call for “ethical considerations,” require deliberate reflection to fully integrate into the K-8 classroom. The idea of ethics in engineering may seem like a daunting topic to navigate with students, but the power of critical thinking and the opportunity for students to consider the impact of their decisions has never been more important.

Engineering Habits of Mind | Tuesday, January 10

Systems Thinking is an Engineering Habit of Mind

The students in Jean Facchiano's fourth-grade class have spent the morning engineering their own models of permeable membranes, using ordinary kitchen supplies like sponges, coffee filters, and perforated aluminum foil. The goal is to design a system that lets water drip into a frog habitat, keeping the container slightly damp, not dry or flooded.

Each group of students has come up with their own unique system for controlling water flow into the habitat. Now, in the video below, the students present their results. It's not just a show-and-tell; it's a concise demonstration of elementary students starting to apply their systems-thinking skills.

Engineering Habits of Mind | Thursday, November 10

Investigating Materials Properties is an Engineering Habit of Mind

We’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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