The Engineering is Elementary curriculum is being implemented in schools in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and California this fall. Programming began with the start of the Fall 2014 school year and aims to integrate engineering into the science and mathematics curriculum at the select schools.
Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools will introduce the curriculum in kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms. Students will learn the fundamentals of engineering as well as what engineers really do. Complexity of the lessons will grow with each grade level. For example: kindergarteners will learn about engineering through popular fables such as “Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.” In this example, the children will learn to understand why the brick house stayed standing while the straw and wood houses did not. The goal of WRPS is to spark an interest in engineering early in the students academic careers, inspiring them to stay active and interested in STEM fields. Further expansion of the program in Wisconsin Rapids schools will be considered based on the success of the 2014-2015 school year.
California has recently adopted Next Generation Science Standards to emphasize the connections between science and engineering. These standards state that students should be able to “analyze data obtained from testing materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose” and “analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.” Engineering is Elementary will help California teachers to meet the new standards by integrating science, math, and engineering.
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