SWEP I ~ STEAMSTEAM Focus:
(For All Students)
“Tell me and I’ll forget.
Show me and I’ll remember.
Involve me and I’ll understand.”
-ConfuciusMost humans spend over 95% of their time interacting with technology. Pencils, chairs, water filters, toothbrushes, cell phones, and buildings are all technologies-solutions designed by engineers to fulfill human needs or wants. To understand the world in which we live, it is vital that we foster engineering and technological literacy among all people, even young children! Fortunately, children are born engineers-they are fascinated with building, with taking things apart, and with how things work.Why teach engineering to children?
- Children are fascinated with building and with taking things apart to see how they work. By encouraging these explorations in elementary school, we can keep these interests alive. Describing their activities as “engineering” when they are engaged in the natural design process can help them develop positive associations with engineering, and increase their desire to pursue such activities in the future.
- Engineering projects integrate other disciplines. Engaging students in hands-on, real-world engineering experiences can enliven math and science and other content areas and motivate students to learn math and science concepts by illustrating relevant applications.
- Engineering fosters problem-solving skills, including problem formulation, iteration, and testing alternative solutions.
- Engineering embraces project-based learning, encompasses hands-on construction, and sharpens children’s abilities to function in three dimensions; all of which are skills important for prospering in the modern world.
- Learning about engineering will increase students’ awareness of and access to scientific and technical careers. The number of American citizens pursuing engineering is decreasing. Early introduction to engineering can encourage many capable students, especially girls and minorities, to consider it as a career and enroll in the necessary science and math courses in high school.
- Engineering and technology literacy are necessary for the 21st century. As our society increasingly depends on engineering and technology, our citizens need to understand these fields.
STEAM Activities: These opportunities all students will have to explore engineering challenges in the grade level classrooms during Science and Social Studies time.
First Grade – students design windmills, in conjunction with their science unit on weather.
Second Grade- students create a hand-pollinator to accompany their unit on the life cycle of a butterfly.
Third Grade – students design a knee brace that supports their science unit on the human body.
Fourth Grade – students study motion and design as part of science; extensions to this unit provide additional engineering challenges.Every grade level will have the opportunity to engage in "STEAM Challenge Days" with their grade level peers.Barb Helmeci, Shannon Dominick, or Mary Quinn.