STEM

Incorporating Engineering for Elementary School Students

There is no denying that there is a huge push for STEM education. There has been an effort to incorporate more STEM into elementary education so that children get a stronger base of knowledge when going onto the higher grade levels when there are special programs for STEM (unless they already have them in elementary schools and I am unaware of this). I was just wondering if there are some cool ways to incorporate engineering into the elementary classroom in the form of activities. Just the very basic concept of engineering (making things) is something that children enjoy and I am sure it would really benefit them in the classroom. I know I, personally, did not start learning anything about engineering until around high school and I do not want that to be the case for my students when I begin to teach in elementary school. I want them to be exposed to all sorts of learning opportunities so they have a chance to choose from literally anything they want to do when they grow up. I want to help teach well-rounded students and I feel exposure to engineering topics can really help round out the playing field so to speak.

Kirsten Green
Kirsten Green
2175 Activity Points

Hi Kirsten, Two resources pop into mind, The Boston Museum of Science's program [url=http://www.mos.org/eie/]Engineering is Elementary[/url], and [url=http://www.familyengineering.org/]Family Engineering[/url]. I participated in ([url=http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2012/03/29/at-the-2012-national-conference/]and wrote about[/url]) a fun and worthwhile training day at the 2012 national NSTA conference where both groups led us in building our understanding through activities and discussion. Check them out! PS--future conferences have sessions on teaching engineering. The [url=http://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2012lou]Louisville, Kentucky area conference[/url], Oct 18-20, lists these sessions, among others, when I searched for "elementary" grade level and key word "engineering." ASEE Session: Introducing Engineering to Elementary School Students 11:00 AM–12:00 PM :: L6, Kentucky International Convention Center Iteration in Engineering 12:30–1:30 PM :: Kentucky A/B, Louisville Marriott ASEE Session: Engineering the Future with TeachEngineering.org 12:30–1:30 PM :: L6, Kentucky International Convention Center Featured Presentation: Engineering-enhanced Science, Inquiry, and Problem Solving 2:00–3:00 PM :: 101, Kentucky International Convention Center ASEE Session: NASA's BEST Students (Beginning Engineering, Science, and Technology): Build a Buggy to Explore Mars! 2:00–3:00 PM :: L6, Kentucky International Convention Center Putting the "E" in Your STEM Courses 3:30–4:30 PM :: 104, Kentucky International Convention Center ASEE Session: Scientific Inquiry and the Engineering Design Process—How Are They Similar and Different? 3:30–4:30 PM :: L6, Kentucky International Convention Center Preparing for NGSS—Exploring the Scientific and Engineering Practices 8:00–9:00 AM :: 101, Kentucky International Convention Center Learning Progression for Force and Motion K–8 2:00–3:00 PM :: L10, Kentucky International Convention Center Featured Presentation: Product Design and Robots Applied to Health Care Problems: A Recipe for Joy and Passion for K–12 Science and Engineering Education? 2:00–3:00 PM :: 101, Kentucky International Convention Center EiE I Know…I Can Be an Engineer…EiE I Know! 11:00 AM–12:00 PM :: L10, Kentucky International Convention Center

Peggy Ashbrook
Margaret Ashbrook
9535 Activity Points

Hi: There are three articles in the Learning Center related to this topic. [b]Design Challenges Are Ell-ementary Shake, Rattle and Hopefully Role Gravity Racers Engineering for All Potato Problem Solving[/b] I hope you find them useful. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

Great start on the list of fun activities Adah. The second resource should be Shake, Rattle and Hopefully not Fail. There are several other really useful articles with activities that are available to use with elementary students. I am attaching the collection of articles I have shared with my elementary colleagues. All have enjoyed doing these with kids. There are a couple of others I would add: Elementary Design Challenges, Real Worlds Robotics and Electrolyte Racers. NSTA just published a new book that is useful as well, "Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom" http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959419 There are activities across all grade levels, but most are able to be modified up or down successfully.


Engineering for Elementary Students Collection
(7 items)
Design Challenges Are "ELL-ementary"
     -Journal Article
Electrolyte Racers
     -Journal Article
Editor’s Note: Windows Into Understanding
     -Journal Article

Sandy Gady
Sandy Gady
43095 Activity Points

Thanks for the help! These are definitely some helpful resources.

Kirsten Green
Kirsten Green
2175 Activity Points

I also was looking for resources and thankful that you all have posted!

Melody Shaw
Melody Shaw
4880 Activity Points

I love the idea that Margaret posted about The Boston Museum of Science's program, "Engineering is Elementary, and Family Engineering." I took a look on the website and found the ideas wonderful and doable for elementary students. Too bad you have to purchase the program, but it has given me some idea on how to incorporate STEM into my elementary class. My job now is finding resources that will allow for similar activities introduced.

Kelly Asato
Kelly Asato
3820 Activity Points

I recently looked at some of the new collections put together in the LC focusing on NDEP informative and short videos. This collection entitled, NDEP LabTV “Talk to the Hand”, contains two articles that highlight innovative strategies for incorporating engineering and communication for elementary students: 1. Collaborating for Communication Type: Journal Article Grade: Elementary School Summary: An engineering challenge requires students to work together while providing an opportunity for assessing their learning styles. and 2. How Can Playing With a Motion Detector Help Children Learn to Write Clear Sequential Directions? Type: Book Chapter Grade: Elementary School Summary: Kathleen Dillon Hogan is a kindergarten teacher in the Calvert County, Maryland, public schools. When this paper was written, she was a first-grade teacher at Hyattsville Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Kathleen heard a colleague describe... Go ahead and check out the very intriguing LabTV presentation as well as peruse the collection items for ideas on how to incorporate engineering into elementary and middle school classrooms. I found the video and the collection of articles quite helpful in generating ideas. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

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