Federal Funds Enable North Carolina Teachers to Introduce Engineering
October 02, 2010
With $100,000 in federal funds, the Engineering Place at North Carolina State University will immerse teachers in six of the state's high-need schools in the NCTL's Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) curriculum via engaging professional development activities.
Many Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system educators also want to use the NCTL's elementary curriculum in the 2010-11 academic year, according to an August 6, 2010, Carolina Weekly story, "Teachers learn to engineer a new way to educate." Nationally taught, EiE integrates engineering and technology with science, language arts, social studies, and mathematics via storybooks and hands-on design activities. Each unit has an illustrated storybook, where a child from a different country uses the engineering design process to solve a community problem.
Dr. Cindy Moss, director of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools told the Weekly, "Engineering is Elementary is powerful because it can change how kids are learning and educators are teaching." EiE will add another layer to the emphasis on technology, math and science at Cornelius Elementary School, said principal James Garvin. "One of our key initiatives is putting a focus on 21st century skills and making sure learning is for a lifetime for all our students as we integrate those skills."
First tested in the school system in 2007, the curriculum sparks students' natural desire to solve problems, said Liz Parry, coordinator, K-16 STEM Partnership Development at N.C. State's College of Engineering. "The students already do a lot of engineering type thinking and problem solving in their lives. We are accessing in these kids an innate ability to look at a problem, think of several different solutions and devise ways to solve a problem." Working in teams, the students try out their solutions, see what happens, and modify their ideas. "These are life skills for any adult who would be a productive citizen," Parry said. "We're basically changing the lens with which they view their education." For more information, contact Liz Parry: firstname.lastname@example.org.