Kids already are natural builders. Give them LEGOS, facilitation, and information and watch as kids become engineers.
Actually, I never thought about engineering for kid until AJ (4th grade) took a Play-Well Engineering FUNdamentals class after school, which she loves. It got me thinking about all the ways to learn about engineering – and, you know I love to research and learn so I’ve gathered some great resources to share with you!
But, let’s start with the Play-Well Engineering FUNdamentals Class. In the class I observed, AJ learned about pneumatics and made a claw. (Admittedly, I didn’t even know the word pneumatics – am I smarter than a 4th grader? Ha.)
I won’t share the secrets of the Play-Well classes but I’ll tell you that the claws were really amazing.
The kids experimented picking up things and then had a relay race.
I loved the learning, the collaboration, the experimenting, and the fun!
You do this kind of engineering exploration at home or in your own community, too. Here’s how.
Engineering at Home
- Go to LEGO Education and see what education sets you can purchase.
- Radio Shack has many kits which involve building and engineering.
- Funutation classes
- Play-Well also offers birthday parties and other events.
- RoX app teaches strategy in building shapes.
Engineering Books For Kids
Future Cities Competition - 6th, 7th, and 8th graders compete to plan a city.
Math Counts – a national math enrichment program and competition.
Engineering Learning Resources
Society of Women Engineers: Aspire – resources for K-12 students.
Engineering Education Service Center – Outreach and hands-on activities in engineering.
A World in Motion – bringing STEM in the classroom.
Alice from Carnegie Mellon – educational software that teaches computer programming in a 3D programming environment
Scratch from MIT – a programming language for everyone to create interactive stories, games, music, and art
Aren’t these cool resources?
What do you think?