Museum of Science's NCTL Influences Out-of-School Engineering Project
April 05, 2012
Family Engineering, a new outreach program for out-of-school-time (OST) settings, now offers activities for the whole family via community events that complement the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) classroom curriculum created by the Museum of Science's National Center for Technological Literacy®. The Family Engineering project uses the five-step Engineering Design Process developed by EiE. Several Museum staff served as project advisors and helped brainstorm and test the materials.
Family Engineering helps engage elementary-aged children and their families in exploring engineering topics and potential careers. The project's Family Engineering: An Activity & Event Planning Guide is full of hands-on engineering activities for elementary-aged kids and adults to do together. The book also includes resources and tools for planning and hosting successful Family Engineering school and community events.
Introducing Family Engineering in local communities is a great way for educators, engineers, parents, students and others to increase public understanding of engineering.
The Foundation for Family Science & Engineering, Michigan Tech, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) developed the Family Engineering program with support from the National Science Foundation. Materials were developed with input from engineers and educators as well as extensively field tested. Visit Family Engineering website for more information and how to get involved: www.familyengineering.org.
Sparked by a grant from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, EiE has also begun developing and testing activities and materials for its own new OST curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA ). The Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) has helped the Museum find Massachusetts test sites and will continue to, as the Museum introduces EA to new sites, tests new EA units, and modifies others based on educator feedback. MAP is one of five statewide afterschool networks selected to receive a Noyce Foundation's Expanding Opportunities in Informal Science Education and Afterschool-STEM Building Planning Grant. MAP's goal is to identify high-quality informal science curricula and create a database of curricula and resources for educators.