Stephanie is a mother of two who has found some valuable resources designed to help students foster a love of engineering early.
Children are natural born engineers.
They build things, take them apart and put them back together again, but it is still important to teach children about engineers and engineering beginning at a young age. According to Joan Ferrini-Mundy, the assistant director of National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources, “Engineering provides an overlooked opportunity to teach kids how to work together and solve problems at a young age… such experiences can empower them to do so later in life when the stakes are higher.”
Teaching Kids to Think Like Engineers
Teaching engineering has the following benefits.
- Helps students apply what they know about science and math to the real world.
- Helps children understand how math and science are relevant to their everyday lives.
- Helps builds equity. The design process makes failure okay and failure is essential to the problem-solving process.
- Helps children understand that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Several students can all be “right” even though their solutions may be different.
- Helps students learn to communicate with others while solving problems.
- Encourages students, especially girls and minorities, to consider engineering as a career.
Schools now have complete curriculums they can implement at all grade levels to teach children about engineering and the design process. But, as a parent, you may wonder: how do I start? How can I introduce my child to the world of engineering? The answer is simple – books. There is a plethora of wonderful children’s books that have been published recently that are the perfect way to begin teaching your children about how to think like an engineer.
Books To Help Your Kiddo Think Like An Engineer
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Young Iggy Peck is an architect and has been since he was two when he built a great tower–in only an hour – with nothing but nappies and glue. He is an architecture genius that demonstrates his skill in various ways.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere is a brilliant inventor. She creates amazing gadgets and gizmos and dreams of becoming an engineer. One day when her aunt (Rosie the Riveter) visits and mentions her own unfinished goal (to fly), Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Ada Twist is a child who is on a mission to discover why. Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada sets out to find the source.
What do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
This is a story of a brilliant idea and the child who brings it into the world. At the beginning, the idea was peculiar, and the child wasn’t sure about its purpose or place in the world. It made the boy uncomfortable, and he tried to ignore it.
What do you Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada
What do you do with a problem? Especially a problem that won’t go away? Do you worry about it? Do you ignore it? Do you hide from it? This is a story of a problem and the child who isn’t sure what to do with it. The longer he avoids it, the bigger it gets. But when the child finally stops and examines the problem, it turns out to be quite different that he thought.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
In this book, a young girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most magnificent thing! She knows just how it will look, how it will work and all she has to do is just make it. But making her magnificent thing is harder than she thinks.
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
Jack, from the backseat, said to his dad,
This car is ok. This car is not bad.
But it’s just a car. Nothing great. Nothing grand.
It’s nothing at all like the car I have planned.
Jack’s car is definitely amazing- with a swimming pool, fish tank, fireplace, instant snack bar and exhaust that smells like muffins or roses– what could be better? Well, if the car could go underwater AND fly like an airplane that wouldn’t hurt either.
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
In this follow-up to If I Built a Car, Jack designs the house of his dreams complete with a racetrack, a flying room, and a gigantic slide.
Just as children are natural-born engineers, they love stories. Put the two of them together and you have already made a great start. Happy reading!
About the Blogger
Stephanie is a Blogger, mother of two boys, a seasoned teacher, and the creator of Boy Mama Teacher Mama. Stephanie shares activities that can be used in the home or in the classroom with a special emphasis on issues related to raising boys. You can follow Boy Mama Teacher Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and BlogLovin.