Seriously — LEGO Engineering for Kids?
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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 LEGO 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
Engineering the ABCs by Patty O’Brien Novak
Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book
Engineering the City: How Infrastructure Works
The Curious Adventures of Sydney and Symon in: Water Wonders
Future Cities Competition – 6th, 7th, and 8th graders compete to plan a city.
Math Counts – a national math enrichment program and competition.
Invent It. Build It. – Girl Scouts and Aspire
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
FisherTechNik – a construction toy brand that teaches engineering through play.
Aren’t these cool resources?
What do you think about engineering for kids?
Thank you for this great article, I have shared it on Twitter.
I second FIRST Robotics. I have been a mentor for 8 years, working with kids in developing their engineering, math, science, technology, leadership, business and team skills. FIRST’s mission is “To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.” They are the largest nonprofit organization of the sort, with programs ranging from Kindergarten through High School. Check them out at: http://usfirst.org/
So true – and it’s really interesting to figure out how things work!