Children are natural engineers. They love building and taking things apart. Their innate curiosity about the world around them creates the perfect opportunity to introduce and explore what it is that engineers do.
So, what are some fun ways to get kids interested in engineering?
* For starters, show them that engineering is much more than creating buildings, bridges and video games. How it’s about using science to solve real-world problems. Teach them about the different types of engineering. From food processing, to healthcare, to the safe water we drink, show them how engineering affects nearly every aspect of life.
* Give them the opportunity to think like an engineer. Encourage them to explore and ask questions. If they hit a roadblock, help them to find a way around it. Engineers are resourceful. Show them that there’s often more than 1 way to solve a problem.
* Promote teamwork. Engineering is often a collaborative effort. Show them how working with others toward a common goal fosters creativity and learning.
* Encourage kids to build – create – interact – discover – explore. Provide a variety of toys and games. Look for STEM toys, do crafts, build Legos and teach them science and math in different and positive ways.
* Interact. Play with them. Use words to encourage. Extend learning – generate ideas, experimenting, teaching, designing, sketching, testing, seeing connections between things and ideas. Provide challenges (more than their area of expertise or familiarity).
* Achieve goals. Teach them to create a balance between thinking and designing. Reaching a goal and seeing results will fuel their desire to explore and learn more!