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

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

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

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

In Iowa, Classroom Engineering Reflects the Real World

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/13/16 11:00 AM

Iowa classroom engineering with Burke Swenson
Burke Swenson (r) in his Iowa STEM lab.

When Iowa STEM instructor Burke Swenson breaks out the Engineering is Elementary unit Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills, he has no trouble making connections between the engineering design challenge his middle school students are about to tackle and their real-life experiences. “The state of Iowa has more wind turbines per capita than anywhere else,” he says. “Go down the interstate an hour, and you’re at a wind farm.”

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Four Ways to Get Smart About Teaching Elementary Engineering

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 8/25/16 11:00 AM

Teaching Engineering
Nervous about teaching engineering? You know more than you think you do!

Q: I just learned I’ll be teaching the Engineering is Elementary curriculum this year. But I don’t know anything about engineering! Help—how do I get smart in a hurry?

A: First, know that you’re not alone. Most elementary teachers have never taken a college course in engineering. Second, remember that you don’t have to master advanced engineering concepts like “axiomatic design” or “dual modular redundancy,” just familiar concepts like “systems” and “processes.” Here are four fast ways to learn more about classroom engineering.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

STEAM Up the Classroom—Get Creative with Dance!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 7/12/16 11:00 AM

Marvelous Machines unit cover

Children learn in different ways. Some students respond particularly well to kinesthetic or embodied learninglearning through body movement and dance. If you’re teaching the EiE unit “Marvelous Machines: Making Work Easier,” here’s a brilliant idea from Amy Williams, the dance teacher at Indianola Informal K-8 in Columbus, Ohio: integrate dance with your students’ exploration of simple machines.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Videos Capture Key Moments in the Engineering Classroom

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 6/9/16 11:00 AM

Kids and Bridge Image
New videos show what it looks like when young children engineer.

Here in Boston, the Engineering is Elementary offices are buzzing with activity. As part of a new five-year initiative, we’re working to significantly expand our catalog of professional development resources. Currently in development: a variety of innovative, on-demand engineering videos.

Today, we’re pleased to release one new collection: EiE “Engineering Moments.” These short videos let you peek into elementary classrooms where students are engaged in hands-on engineering.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Meet Common Core Standards: Add Engineering to the Mix

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 6/2/16 11:00 AM

Common Core logo

A total of 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics and English Language Arts. An engaging and effective way to meet these standards is through classroom engineering—and Engineering is Elementary offers convenient CCSS Alignment Guides to help you make the connections.

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Topics: Implementing EiE

Colorado District Adds EiE to Summer School Curriculum

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 5/10/16 11:00 AM

We hit a landmark recently—more than 10 million students have been reached by the Engineering is Elementary curriculum. Not all of that learning happened during the school year! Increasingly, we’re hearing about districts adopting EiE as a summer school curriculum. One of these districts is Colorado Springs District 11. Here’s their story.

How are you using EiE in YOUR school? Share your story! 

Share your Teacher Tip!

If we use your story on the blog, we’ll say thanks by sending you the EiE Teacher Guide of your choice.

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Topics: Implementing EiE