Editorial: Engineers of the Future

Posted on February 28, 2007  Comments (1)

Engineers of the future:

Technology education programs at all grade levels seek to afford students opportunities to tinker, to discover how things work, and to explore the designed world. At the elementary school level, students may learn about simple machines designed for specific tasks or about the basics of electricity by actually building simple circuits. In middle school, students may explore concepts in more detail, perhaps by designing and building a model of a bridge or a gliding aircraft. In high school, students may have opportunities to design an affordable home, take something apart to see how it works, or design and build a robot that would be used for a rescue mission or some other specific purpose. All of these experiences are related to the processes of engineering.

This is the type of learning that can enhance a future engineer’s experience, but also the type that cannot be included in the typical upper grade level math or science classroom for one main reason: math and science teachers generally do not have the time and may not have the interest or expertise needed for in-depth study of technology.

The editorial makes a good point. As import and primary science and math education are they are not enough. Effort to create an environment where students can experiment and use their hands and minds to solve problems is incredibly valuable. Teaching in this way is not as simple as it might seem, see example below for some ideas and resources that can help create these type of learning institutions.

Examples: Middle School Engineersk-12 Engineering EducationEngineering is ElementaryColorado Science Teacher of the YearBuilding minds by building robotsLeadership Initiatives for Teaching and TechnologyEngineering Education Program for k-12Project Lead The Wayk-12 science and engineering posts

One Response to “Editorial: Engineers of the Future”

  1. CuriousCat: » Innovation Academy for High School Students
    October 25th, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    “They teach us about ocean life and animals – I like that kind of stuff,” she said. “It’s something different.”

    Moody High School Innovation Academy students will make three more trips to the field station this semester and another five in the spring.

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