Young learners are natural engineers, ready to innovate and eager to explore the world around them. Extending our curricula offerings to the youngest learners and creating an engineering design process for the preschool classroom seemed like a natural next step for EiE. Our newest curricula, Wee Engineer and EiE for Kindergarten, are picking up press With our recent feature in T.H.E. Journal, we were reminded how much we couldn’t have created our newest offerings without our closest collaborators: educators! Every EiE unit undergoes multiple rounds of pilot testing to ensure that educators can implement engineering with ease. Our pilot educators teach in a variety of settings and have varying levels of experience with engineering. With their feedback and guidance, we’ve learned so much about how to design hands-on engineering activities for preschoolers and kindergartners. Hear from these passionate educators, download free sample lessons from Wee Engineer and EiE for Kindergarten, and create a generation of problem solvers.
EiE Resources for Teachers | Engineering is Elementary | EiE for Kindergarten | Engineering Adventures | Engineering Everywhere | Engineering for All | Wee Engineer | Thursday, August 23
How much do you know about engineering? Could you spot common misconceptions and identify unlikely engineers?
One of the most pervasive misconceptions is that engineering is too complicated for young children to find engaging. But did you know that 65% of surveyed scientists and graduate students reported that their interest in STEM began before middle school? It’s time to break stereotypes. Challenge those misconceptions.
Take our “Engineering IQ” quiz and find out your engineering IQ! Good luck. Have fun and share our quiz with your peers!
Early Engineering | Wee Engineer | Preschool | Pre-K | Early Childhood STEM Education | Kindergarten | EiE for Kindergarten | Friday, August 3
Hands-on engineering activities empower young children to see themselves as problem solvers. They learn that there’s more than one way to solve a problem, and that it’s okay to fail and try again. A classroom-tested engineering design challenge with an age-appropriate engineering design process will provide fun and engaging opportunities for the youngest learners. We found in creating our early childhood curricula that engineering activities should look different in preschool in comparison to kindergarten. Learn about those differences below and why age-appropriate engineering activities are so important.
Early Engineering | Pre-K | Preschool | Wee Engineer | Early Childhood STEM Education | Tuesday, September 11
Before creating our preschool curriculum Wee Engineer, we knew that it was important to answer these questions, "Why engineer with preschoolers?" and “How will engineering support early childhood development?” Preschoolers make a lot of things, and our challenge was to channel this natural inclination of children into an engineering activity that would align with the skills they’re already developing. We conducted hours of research, consulted with many early childhood educators, and tested our activities in various early childhood settings with the goal of answering the above question.
Through this work, we identified several ways in which engineering is beneficial to young children as they develop skills in these important learning domains: social-emotional, language acquisition, executive functioning, and fine and gross motor skills.
Wee Engineer | Preschool | Pre-K | Early Engineering | Early Childhood STEM Education | Thursday, August 30
Starting engineering early sets young learners up for success in school and life. But before asking a preschooler to engage in an engineering activity, it’s important to have a reasonable expectation of what that looks like and what an age-appropriate challenge for a young child to tackle might be. To design Wee Engineer, our preschool/Pre-K engineering curriculum that will launch Fall 2018, we first broke down the practices (or habits of mind) that define engineering and asked ourselves a simple question, “What does it look like when a preschooler engineers?” After hours of observing preschoolers in various settings, reviewing literature on child development, talking with preschool educators, and testing our own preschool engineering activities, here’s what we learned about engineering practices for this young age group.