How can you make engineering even more fun? Try it out with the whole family! Educators often tell us amazing stories about students that began engineering in the classroom, then took it upon themselves to bring their designs home and improve them with the help of family and friends. When students take their engineering work home, they become the experts. They can impress their families with their knowledge of engineering, technology, and the Engineering Design Process, and they might even teach their parents something new! We compiled a list of four units with simple and fun testing procedures that use materials students can find at home or transport easily from the classroom. If you’re looking for a fun, hands-on way to get families involved in students’ STEM lessons, these units are the perfect way to keep the learning going after the school day ends!
EiE Resources for Teachers | Tuesday, May 22
One of EiE’s design principles is to set all of our units in a real-world context to give students an idea of what engineers really do. Because of this, we’re constantly finding connections to our units in the news and in viral videos. But nothing makes us happier than hearing about EiE educators who make local and global connections in their own classrooms! We’re always blown away by the creative ways that educators inspire their students, and today we wanted to share some of their stories with you.
Tuesday, April 24
You probably know EiE engineering curriculum aligns with the science curriculum you already teach. But did you know that we designed our curriculum to support literacy instruction as well? We believe that literacy resources, like our context-setting storybooks, enhance all of our units—for instance, students are engaged and excited about designing a maglev transportation system after they read our engineering story about Hikaru, a young boy designing a technology to help his family’s toy store. And when students take on the roles of farmers and bugs in a play about pest control, they’ll feel immersed in the world of agriculture and ready to design hand pollinators. Because we know literacy learning and engineering instruction can go hand in hand, we’ve designed additional educator resources for educators who want to strengthen the literacy connections in their classrooms and/or afterschool programs.
Tuesday, April 3
This year, the students at Tabernacle Elementary School in Tabernacle, New Jersey are experiencing something brand new—they’re solving problems and exploring new challenges in a hands-on, collaborative STEAM environment called the Collaboratory. Since the Collaboratory has opened, students have thrived with project-based learning and the Tabernacle community has come together to support the common goal of helping kids develop 21st century skills. Collaboratory teacher Brittany Murro says, “When we started this, we thought, it’s the first year, we’ll just take things a day at a time and see where they go. But it has gone above and beyond what I think any of us expected for the first year of a new program like this.”
Tuesday, March 20
We can’t overemphasize the importance of positive role models. They show young engineers that their dreams are achievable. In some instances, an effective role model can spark a young girl’s interest in engineering: ASME reports that women only make up 18-20% of the engineering workforce, and posits that “The stereotype that links masculinity to technology is, unfortunately, still prevalent and difficult to overcome.” We always hope that our EiE storybook characters serve as role models for kids in all classrooms. They solve real-world problems for themselves, their friends and families, and their communities. This Women’s History Month, we want to shine a light on some incredible problem solvers whose tenacity and ingenuity inspire us to create strong role models for your students.