Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Engineering 101

Where to start? Where to start?  

When moving into our new STEAM plan, we felt VERY comfortable with our Science and Math curriculum.  We have been using TERC's Investigations for math and Delta Education's FOSS for science.  The still a work in progress.  Still, we have found some great resources, websites, and curricula.

Resources: Children's books

Head over to and check out some books we have found:  Engineering the ABC's by Patty Novak.  This book talks about everyday materials that engineers have helped create and how they effect our everyday lives.

Engineering Elephants by Dr. Emily Hunt is really good for early childhood K-2.  The book is told in rhythm and rhyme.  You can look through it at Amazon and take a sneak peak!

Websites: This is a really great place for you to use with the whole class or for students to explore one-on-one.  Start with a bunch of pictures of items that engineers have helped to create in categories from food to fashion.  Next, choose a picture and it will take you to a new link with videos, narratives and other websites! Fun!   My favorite "go to" place to find ideas for activities in my classroom.  I have used this site to find plans for creating balloon powered cards, towers and robo wheels.  I love this because there is a video that you can show to your class with step by step directions as well as ways to redesign. They have video episodes, simulations, games, etc... Materials are easy to find, inexpensive and developmentally appropriate.  This website offers lesson plans and online games for ages 8-18.  The lessons are a little cumbersome, but if you look through them you may find something worth using.


Hands down, without a doubt...the best stuff out there for elementary kids is Engineering is Elementary from the Boston Science Museum. They have created 20 units that are actually correlated to FOSS and STC units as well as the Next Gen Science Standards.  We purchased several units last year for our school. I used Alarming Ideas: creating an alarm circuit.  What I liked about this curriculum, is that each unit starts with a story.  The story has a global connection; this one is set in Australia! Each story has a real world problem which the kids are able to create solutions for.  The materials are easy to find, relatively cheap, and easy to use.

Next to introduce the engineering design process.



  1. Hi! I JUST came across your blog from a quick Science search on bloglovin'. I, too, am a Science teacher blogger and would love to have you check me out. THANKS!

    1. I really enjoyed looking at "teachingcortez". She has some great ideas! We may need to guest blog for each other!