engineering for K-8

I am working with K-8 teachers to include more Engineering in classes and projects.

You have more experience with understanding engineering and how kids become interested in engineering than most educators today. We would really appreciate your ideas about including the E in STEM in K-8.

Here are some online resources. Are there topics or ideas that you wish some of your K-8 teachers had known about or told you about? Do these have a place in regular school work? Would other kids be more interested in engineering if any of these were presented in school?

  • 3d thinking – Visualization and Spatial Thinking. Most freshman engineering students are pretty good at imagining what an object or structure will look like from a description. This is a learnable skill although most people don’t think about practicing this. Are these activities, games and puzzles interesting to you? How do you do on these? Do you think this is important?
  • ocean engineering – living near the ocean, teachers put a lot of emphasis on marine biology, but some kids are more interested in things than in science and animals. Examples of related hands-on activities. Which of these are interesting? Can you suggest others?
  • engineering4kids – wiki full of stories about objects, structures, and engineering ideas. Search for something that interests you now – is it there? What were you interested in in 6th grade? Is it in the engineering4kids wiki?
  • coding – everyone needs to learn to code. Or do they? What do you think? Why?
  • engineering everywhere – there are plenty of online resources. But how does engineering fit into most school subjects. Should teachers specifically teach about engineering? Can engineering be part of other subjects? Suggestions?

Knowing what you know now, what would you suggest to K-8 teachers? What can teachers do to include engineering? What would you say to other kids who might eventually be interested in engineering, too?

Your feedback, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your help.