Resources and ideas for engineers working on the design challenge of teaching elementary students about engineering


I have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Courtney Faber’s engineering service-learning course.

In this course, my understanding is that students tackle a design challenge. I was asked to come to class to speak for around 30-minutes around adapting and designing activities for an engineering after school program for elementary-aged students. So, the design challenge is to teach engineering to elementary students about engineering. Cool!

But, I don’t’ have expertise in engineering or elementary education. So, I reached out to a colleague, who equipped me well, and also did a bit of noodling on just a few things that I could and would want to share. This post includes a short description of what I hoped to share.

Teaching and learning are complex and so having a “model” for them can be useful.

One simple model that I learned from Dr. David Stroupe (who used it to guide students’ critiques of video-recordings of teachers) is to think about the a) talk, b) task, and c) tools with respect to teaching and learning.

Here are a few things I’d recommend considering with respect to each of these.