If you want to get kids interested in engineering, a great place to start is by telling them all about it. Even though they may have heard people talking about engineering, they may not understand exactly what the job entails – especially since there are so many different types of engineering out there. Talking to your child about engineering is a great way to get them excited about the possibilities that it has to offer. Below are some tips on how to get the conversation started:
* Start by letting kids know exactly what an engineer is. Help them understand that engineers are responsible for designing, maintaining, or building a variety of different items ranging from machinery to buildings. Their skills are used to make all of the items that we see in the world around us.
* Show them an online video geared toward kids that explains the concept of engineering.
*Find some objects around your house that your child enjoys using. Explain how engineering helps bring those objects into being.
* Help kids understand that engineers aren’t just limited to working on machinery or structures. Remember – there are many different types of engineers. Some of the various types that you may want to discuss with your child include civil, structural, chemical, mechanical, environmental, and electrical engineers. You can also talk to them about material scientists, systems engineers, and manufacturing engineers. If you want to know more, read this from Atkins.
* Help them understand how the engineering design process can be used as a powerful problem-solving tool. This process is used by engineers when trying to tackle challenging problems and involves a set of clearly defined steps. Teach your child about each step of the process and how it impacts the overall project. This will give them a better idea of how engineers go about solving difficult issues or challenges. TeachingEngineering.org has some excellent resources that you can use to help explain the process. By sitting down with your child and walking them through each of the stages, you can help them grasp the overall concept of engineering. There are a lot of other great tools on the site you can use to get your child excited about engineering.
* Try to tie engineering into other activities or concepts that your child enjoys. Take a look at the items that your child plays with or interacts with each day. Chances are, an engineer had some role in creating them. By tying objects or concepts that your child is excited about into engineering, you can help them see how engineering impacts everyday life.
Ultimately, if you want to get your child interested in engineering, the best way to do it is by taking advantage of the many free resources that are out there. Our goal is to help guide you toward the top resources that are currently available so that you can get your child on the path to success. There are a lot of amazing engineering related games listed in the resources section that can be used to teach your child about engineering and to show them just how much fun it can be. There are also some great apps that they can use such as STEM Village’s Discovery Unit titled “The Design of Things”.