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Honoring Student Results

The essence of EiE's problem-based approach is that it empowers students to take an active, creative role in their learning.

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"This proves it!"

EiE lessons involve students in solving the same dilemma faced by a storybook character. This meaningful context motivates them to understand constraints, learn about materials, and create and revise designs—a process that mirrors the one followed by engineers and other STEM professionals and, we believe, strengthens students’ critical thinking.

One tricky aspect of problem-based teaching is that students, inspired to control their own learning, sometimes get unexpected results. Watch this video to see how one teacher refrained from correcting a discrepancy because she considered it more important to honor students’ results.

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New OST Unit Available

A new Engineering Adventures unit, Hop to It: Safe Removal of Invasive Species, is now available to download.

This is the second Engineering Adventures unit to be made available to the public. Like all Engineering Adventures units, it has been designed specifically for 3rd–5th graders in out-of-school time settings. Learn more, or download Hop to It.

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Cardboard Drawing Robots

Cardboard drawing robots at Maker Faire

EiE Visits the Makers

EiE not only evaluates the curriculum we produce, but also participates in the larger world of engineering education research. Recently, team members attended the Making Meaning symposium at the New York Hall of Science, where academics, educators, Makers, engineers, and designers met to discuss assessment against the backdrop of the World Maker Faire.

Organized by Make Magazine, the Faire is an annual meeting of Makers, amateur engineers and designers, presenting their work, from bicycle powered compost machines for urban farms to self-replicating 3D printers to a life-size game of mousetrap! Over 650 Makers of all ages, including elementary and middle-school students, showed off their passions and projects to the 55,000 attendees over the course of the weekend.

Life Size Mousetrap

A life-size version of Mousetrap

EiE researchers and other Making Meaning participants followed the Faire by generating ideas for what assessment of making might look like. How do we measure the science and math knowledge, confidence, personal empowerment, and even creativity used by Makers and engineers? Even though the group is far from having answers, it is exciting to see a growing movement of people interested in the same types of research as EiE!

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emily

Ask Emily

Q: Do I have to order your material kits to teach with EiE, or can I put together my own?

A: With time and effort, you can assemble your own EiE kits.

We designed our units specifically to use materials that you can find yourself at craft, office supply, and hardware stores; and each teacher guide includes a complete materials list (they’re also available online).

Two things to keep in mind, however: First, because we enjoy significant bulk savings, you may find that you save little or no money and spend quite a bit of time.

Second, a few specialized items, like the magnets for The Attraction is Obvious: Designing Maglev Systems or the rocks for Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact, are difficult to find—and substitutes may not work well. If you wind up having a difficult time finding a material, you can give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to help you in your search.

Another option schools often choose is to order kits from EiE, then replace the consumable materials themselves.

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Upcoming PD Opportunities

Join us at the Museum of Science, Boston for some exciting Professional Development opportunities. Click on the links below for more information or to register:

Everyone Engineers!

A 2-day hands-on workshop designed to introduce educators to the EiE curriculum and prepare them for implementing EiE in the classroom.
* April 4-5, 2013
* July 10-11, 2013
* August 8-9, 2013
* October 10-11, 2013

Teacher Educator Institutes

Our intensive three-day trainings for educators who want to provide EiE professional development to other teachers.
* December 5-7, 2012
* March 13-15, 2013
* May 8-10, 2013
* October 23-25, 2013
* December 4-6, 2013

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Help Spread the Word!

If you're making the case for EiE to colleagues, our new brochure might help.

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Do you use STEM methods in your classroom? Has your school started using STEM-based curriculum?

Even if your school isn't using STEM methods, your perceptions are important. Because of your knowledge of and experience in STEM you are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Pete Gjovik at Valley City State University. Your input will help provide a better understanding of implementation barriers in schools.

If you are interested in sharing your perceptions, please click here.

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Notes from the Field

We'd love to hear from you! Send questions, tips, and stories that might interest your colleagues to EiEnews@mos.org. We'd love to provide a forum for sharing strategies for building support for EiE, student "a-ha" moments, and your clever adaptations.

Photographs we can share would be wonderful (but please download our photo release form, have it signed for all kids in the photos, and send them in with the photos): there's nothing quite like seeing other teachers and students in action.

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EiE Logo

Engineering is Elementary® is part of the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL) at the Museum of Science, Boston.

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