about engineering4kids


  • engineering4kids is a collection of “engineering stories” about man-made objects and structures. These stories are wiki pages that include descriptions, pictures, videos, activities and links to additional resources for exploring the world of Engineering.

Engineering is the E in STEM. However, engineering is often lumped in with the other curriculum subjects. We think that engineering should be the focus. We have been delighted to find that others share our vision.

There are so many wonderful sites on the web that provide great ways to explore engineering. We find the good stuff on tons of subjects and pass them along. Most articles, images and videos are informative and fun, CC-BY-SA and ad-free, too.

We decided to take on this challenge when we saw middle school kids looking at Wikipedia to find information about engineering projects, but it is too advanced. It is a great resource but not very engaging for 6-8 graders. So here at [/engineering4kids engineering4kids], we start with the solutions, design challenges and activities. We provide information about the problems and the process for engineering design.

Each engineering “story” starts with pictures or video about an “engineered solution” – something man-made – tools, machines, structures. The story describe the original problem that necessitated this solution and includes facts and questions related to simplified version of the Engineering Design Process.

Middle schoolers are the intended audience for Engineering 4 Kids, although we think lots of other people will like these stories, and learn something from them too.

  • primary audience – middle schoolers (Grades 5-8), anyone interested in learning about engineering and how things are designed and built
  • What were they thinking? – wiki stories – kids need to be able to get an intro to Engineering on their own from the web. Even with the current support for STEM education, teachers won’t be up to speed any time soon.
  • hands-on roadshow – we can engage kids as well as promote an intro to Engineering through interactive activities at community events
  • Teaching Teachers to Teach Engineering (T3E) – It is going to be time consuming, and will lag the need, but it still needs to be done, and included in the project

Got engineering expertise?
To encourage Middle School kids to learn about Engineering, we are starting with a broad range of objects and structures. For each we include an overview of the engineering behind them.

If you have an engineering background, we would love to have your help. We need some expertise to identify the underlying engineering in the objects and structures. We need your ideas to link engineering topics with examples of real stuff, the engineering requirements and design of the things. That’s the connection that we want to promote.

Women in engineering
We are interested in the education and work of women as engineers. There seem to be a couple of big road blocks for getting young people, and girls in particular, to become engineers. I would like to understand how women engineers happen. Perhaps there are some things that educators and mentors can do to encourage and support more of those potential engineers.

What did you know in middle school or high school that got you started down this path? How come you weren’t put off? What motivated you to get through the requirements – most of which sound pretty dull and/or scarey to high school kids and their guidance counselors? What were some of the successes along the way that kept you going through the coursework?

The contributors are kids, teachers, engineers, parents and community members who give their time and effort to curating this wiki, finding interesting hands-on activities, locating references to background information and providing a place for kids to explore engineering.

  • Valerie, Jon, Joe, Nancy, Dana, Steve, Geoff, [/~Creekside%202013 Becky], Lisa, Diego, Ted, Bruce, Ron

Learn more…