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!

LEGO Engineering

LEGO Engineering

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.)

LEGO Engineering

I won’t share the secrets of the Play-Well classes but I’ll tell you that the claws were really amazing.

LEGO Engineering

The kids experimented picking up things and then had a relay race.

LEGO Engineering

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

Engineering Books For Kids

LEGO Engineering

Engineering the ABCs by Patty O’Brien Novak

LEGO Engineering

The Way Things Work 

LEGO Engineering

Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book

LEGO Engineering

Engineering the City: How Infrastructure Works 

LEGO Engineering

The Curious Adventures of Sydney and Symon in: Water Wonders

Engineering Competitions

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

LEGO Engineering

FisherTechNik – a construction toy brand that teaches engineering through play.

Aren’t these cool resources?

What do you think about engineering for kids?

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22 Responses

  1. My mom friend also works with a non profit called USFirst.org. It helps parents set up lego robotics programs in their communities in case you don’t have access to great classes like Play-Well. (We don’t). They also have robotics programs.

    A mom at my school who is also a high school chemistry teacher lead a group of elementary age kids in this and they had a blast!

  2. Great reference article. My wife and I were discussing the importance of encouraging creativity in the workplace. We as adult professionals needs to be more creative in re-engineeing the workplace. We can learn from these kids. Thanks for the information. We will definitely share with our son.

  3. Hi Melissa. Terrific resource article – I’m going to spread the word about it. It’s exciting to see that there really are a lot of ways to let children of all ages catch the fun of engineering.

  4. If your child loves building, I highly recommend Fischer Technik! I had never heard of it, but my husband, who’s German, played with these as a child, and introduced them to our 9 year old daughter last Christmas. You can build all kinds of interesting things. Last year she built a solar-powered car and a ferris wheel. We just ordered a bunch of new kits, and this past weekend she built both a working elevator, and a dishwasher, w/o the water, but it was powered. They can learn both to build, and simple programming languages, so it’s both educational & great fun.

    Highly recommended!
    ~Maria

  5. The head of the family here is an engineer, so engineering has been ingrained our oldest’s activities and interests from a young age. Lego Mindstorms has engaged our oldest in programming and constructing skills, there are many good programming books, and you’ve included so many great ideas here for introducing children to engineering.

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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