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STEM Beyond the School Day Series – Engineering Mindset 1

Engineering Mindset #1: Children Consider Problems in Context

Considering and designing with the engineering design process

In our last post about the properties and use of materials we talked about finding the right materials to find the best solution to any given challenge. The more you can understand the materials you’re working with, the smarter you can work as you move into engineering mindset.

As you’re working to think things through, you’ll see that this process works toward solving the need for drinking water to safely construct cities and beyond.  You’ve seen it work for making tacos, but it can also work for designing a better car, a new medical procedure or getting to space.  It’s all about understanding what you are working with and finding the solution that best meets your needs for that situation.

Here is a link to some activities that address the process of considering and designing with the engineering design process:   

As you’ve practiced a little you can begin searching for real solutions for everything. This includes for older student activities like this Freshwater problem set from National Geographic to more personally impacting everyday problems that you might encounter.  Challenge your program to consider moving into an engineering mindset, and solving a real world problem.  

Looking for a new challenge to work on, check out Design Challenges for Families and Classrooms from Technovation.  Check out these resources and maybe send us a letter or video highlighting what happens when you actively practice applying one of these mindsets with your program!  Help inspire other future engineers and educators to get in the mindset and consider real world problems that need to be solved.

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