Children are natural engineers, which is why there are less people to fill these careers. However, schools today give less and less class time for students to develop these vital skills. My school has identified the need for engineering to be a regular part students' education.
Our school is in an urban area located in Massachusetts, with a very diverse population.
They are motivated to learn, and strive to be successful. Each week they look forward to coming to my class because they are challenged to use their creativity and scientific know-how to engineer solutions to the challenges I give them.
My classes will use the K'nex that are funded to build prototypes of their own inventions. The class will be given a scenario that requires them to invent a product that will solve the character's problem. Because these K'nex will be used for multiple projects for over 450 students in grades K-4, a multitude of concepts will be taught. Everything from greenhouse designs in out plants unit to simple machines will be taught across grade levels. Students will use these K'nex to understand and articulate the scientific reasons of why their invention will work. Without the K'nex, students will not be able to complete this project.
In today's job market engineers are in high demand, and the deficit of those qualified to meet the demand is only going to grow worse in coming years.
It is important that we get students interested in engineering at a young age, and let them know that this is a real possibility for their future. Working on projects like this give students an understanding of concepts introduced nowhere else. Studies show that projects like this result in an increased understanding in math and science.
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