We are so excited about our upcoming early childhood curricula—and we know you are too! Every time we post an update, we hear an enthusiastic chorus of “That’s so exciting! When will it be available?” Both Wee Engineer and EiE for Kindergarten have tentative release dates of summer 2018. To tide you over until then, we compiled our most informative early childhood curriculum updates from the last few years to give you a comprehensive view of our process so far. Read on and make sure you visit the original posts to learn about the origins of our early education initiative and to read our favorite anecdote about smiley face erasers.
Today, we’re working on two separate curricula—EiE-for Kindergarten and Wee Engineer—but back in 2016, we were just getting started on our 3-year project to answer the question “What could engineering for very young children look like?” In this post, we provide insight into the societal forces that sparked the development of our early childhood curricula. Read about the history of our initiative and learn how we answered the call for early STEM education!
Last year a Boston kindergarten teacher wondered, “What happens when you direct the energy and imagination of a kindergartener into the engineering design process?” In this guest post, Melanie Flores describes how she adapted the EiE curriculum (grades 1-5) for her kindergarten classroom. She notes how highly engaged her students were and how much they enjoyed improving their designs—some even worked on them at home! You may have a few more months to wait for EiE for Kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start exploring how to engage your kindergarten students.
Creating a new curriculum for pre-school aged engineers necessitated developing an entirely new Engineering Design Process (EDP). It took nine months of brainstorming, research and consulting with early childhood experts to finalize our three simple steps: “Explore, Create Improve.” Read about the intensive process that led to an all new EDP for preschool engineers.
What happens when you give a team of experienced curriculum developers a ukulele and ask them to write an engineering song? You get a fun song designed to introduce your youngest engineers to our preschool Engineering Design Process (EDP)! The rhyming tune reinforces carefully chosen vocabulary, “Explore, Create Improve,” and helps kids get excited about engineering. Click through to watch Wee Engineer in action and to hear a rendition of the EDP song.
While testing Wee Engineer, we found that preschool engineers (and frequently EiE staff members) gravitate towards using the brightest, shiniest materials in their designs. Check out this behind the scenes look at a classroom pilot test and learn more about how we’re beginning to understand the unique ways preschoolers learn.
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