TeachEngineering with a Special Touch
In a recent article from eSchool News about building momentum in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), there was an urge to not forget the T and E in the curriculum.
“One of the findings is that discussions of STEM tend to be focused on science, sometimes math, rarely both together–usually they’re siloed, and the T and especially the E are really just left out of the discussion in policy, education, and classroom practice,” Greg Pearson, an NAE program officer, said.
“Even though we use that acronym, in terms of what’s really happening and what people really mean, engineering is the silent letter.”
If you take a look around you, step outside, take a drive in your car or on your bike – it’s kind of hard to forget the engineering. The way your house is constructed, the roads are designed, and the bridges are built are all part of engineering and nowadays technology is actually included when creating those designs. Go back into your house, or school. Do you have a computer, a phone, a tv, a MP3 player, a video player, a video game console? If so, then you are surrounded by technology. Why is the T left out of the discussion and the E silent?
One of our newest collections, TeachEngineering, is especially valuable for STEM education. I was able to find great information that would have helped me teach about Egyptians and the Afterlife (yes, there is an engineering concept in that topic), when my students were creating their weather instruments, and when I had to teach circuits and power. Proof that engineering should not be silent in your teaching, and is actually embedded with many things you are teaching. But there was something else I found in TeachEngineering that caught not only my eye, but my heart.
A few weeks ago the world lost Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics. Her passion could be felt with each Special Olympics event and what she did for those children, well actually for all of us, is something hard to put into words. And while her life is one that we celebrate, where am I going with mentioning Mrs. Shriver in the middle of a blog about engineering? Allow me to link the two together.
One of the results for TeachEngineering is Able Sports. In this lesson, students are asked to design a sport for students with disabilities, taking into account the disability. How empowering! To have a sport that YOU could play better because of what some see as a disability. The lesson meets the National Science Standards, and I checked to see if it met a couple of other states, and it did! The procedures are well written, even including the fact that if the reason you can’t use crutches in your design. So now your students are in Physical Education Classes, designing a sport for those who have a disability, and they are using engineering!
With this great new collection, embedding engineering into your curriculum will be even easier than you think. Leave a comment if you discovered a TeachEngineering Lesson you really enjoy.
- 50 entries for high school with keyword “teachengineering”
- 380 entries for middle school with the keyword “teachenginnering”
- 428 entries for elementary school with the keyword “teachenginnering”
- TeachEngineering is also found under the collection tab and is available with appropriate searches