We are a school in a small, rural, agricultural area. We have a diverse group of students, including a large population of English Language Learners and children of migrant workers. Our school has an enthusiastic and energetic group of young learners in TK-1st grade.
We have a group of spontaneous, social, and eager Kindergartners that love building and exploring the world around them.
The students in our classroom come from very different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The one thing they all have in common is an eagerness to explore and learn in various new and interesting ways! Our goal is to help our students build resilience, develop a growth mindset, and develop habits of mind. The The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) lists six habits of mind, including (1) systems thinking, (2) creativity, (3) optimism, (4) collaboration, (5) communication, and (6) ethical considerations. The NAE report notes that these six “ways of thinking” are not unique to engineering; they're often considered essential skills for citizens of the 21st century.
"The world doesn't need more graduates with good grades. What the world needs is voracious, self-directed learners with the creative capacity to see the problems of the world as puzzles, and the tenacity to work on the, even in the face of adversity." -Gever Tulley
Children are natural-born engineers.
They love building and taking things apart. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California includes engineering as a core disciplinary idea. These new standards were developed to inspire and channel students into engineering and other stem-related careers. Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. These engineering activities fosters communication, collaboration, problem-solving, creativity, and resilience in children. In the 21st century, these skills will be critical for success in any field.
These materials will be used for both structured and unstructured hands-on engineering-based projects and play. In addition to helping students develop critical skills to be successful in the 21st century. Many of these materials also help with fine motor skills, spacial relationships, and through the use of structured play also help build social and emotional skills.
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