Tomorrow is our annual Discover Engineering day in honor of engineering week! Last year, I got to set my hands on fire (safely!) with students from one of the local universities. There are hover craft rumors being bandied about for this year’s festivities.
Normally, this is where I’d post instructions for one very nifty engineering project, but today I’m going to offer a few links with some engineering facts and ideas for your classroom. And, yep, one of those ideas has your kids playing video games.
First, let’s get a little cross-curricular and talk history and science with 10 engineering feats we learned from Rome. I bet you are all thinking aqueducts and arches, but how about pontoon bridges? Think your kids can construct a working model?
Or maybe it’s hard to get them to focus when there are video games out there to be played. Head over to engineering.com for information, articles, and engineering video games. My favorite, at the moment, is “Learn 2 Fly”, an RPG-style revenge-against-the-iceberg game in which you learn how to make a penguin fly using thrust and payloads and hang-gliders.
There’s also “Flight” where students can virtually launch paper airplanes. Why not have them play a few rounds, then apply what they learned to a paper airplane competition with awards for altitude and distance? (Bonus: It’ll get you out of your classrooms and into the nice weather while it lasts.)
You can even check around our site for some engineering activities like the one we posted earlier in the week:
Finally, shake up how your students think of engineers and engineering. They don’t just build houses or bridges. They help design the shoes star athletes are wearing, not to mention skis and slopes; they build parachutes, air planes, self-driving cars, and even make fireworks.
If you can’t make it to our engineering celebration, consider hosting one for your entire school. All over the United States, but in Appalachia especially, we need our kids thinking about STEM careers and using them to build a better future. Step one is getting them interested. Let’s work together to make that happen.
I hope we see you all tomorrow, but whether you make it or not, we’d love some pictures on how you brought engineering into your classrooms or your homes!