Science Sampler: Engineering in the classroomby: Kathleen Matthew and Stacy Wilson

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

In an effort to educate students about engineering, teachers in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, area challenged their students to become engineers. Students were given the tools they needed to design, create, and race a vehicle constructed from plastic building blocks that would move down a predetermined course in the shortest amount of time. With a robotics competition as the culminating experience, upper elementary and middle school students were motivated to become engineers.

  • Middle
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 55 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Thu May 31, 2012 10:34 PM

I like how this article starts strong with sharing ideas on how to get students "thinking" about circuits. Yet on the actual robotics section, the article slows a bit. I wish there could have been more detail on the "how" of the robots, other than a description of one kit. A list of robot resources would have been great too. Yet again, the article starts off strong with some great ideas on how to get students started out right in thinking about robots and circuits. Overall, worth the time just for that one section.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:20 PM

In an effort to instill engineering concepts, students in middle school view a high school robotics competition. The students then explored electrical circuits both parallel and series, before entering a robotics competition themselves. This article encourages instructors to contact local engineering groups to provide support for these efforts. This article contains some really good Internet resources.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:53 PM

Robotics kits are become a more frequent sighting at many elementary schools. There are many resources out there which will help you find what to build, but this article actually tells you how to build in a guided inquiry classroom. There are strategies for initial explorations and guidance along the design process. The article would be improved with the use of photographs and an expansion of the resource list.

Caryn Meirs  (Smithtown, NY)
Caryn Meirs (Smithtown, NY)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.