The Engineering is Elementary (EIE) program allows teachers, especially elementary teachers, to facilitate accurate, high quality, scientific learning to students of all ages. It builds capacity in teachers and students to effectively utilize the engineering design process, and become independent and collaborative learners.
At Manor Hall, engineering starts in Kindergarten. We utilize the Engineering is Elementary curriculum in grades K-6 to expose kids to this important educational focus. The EIE curriculum was created by the Boston Museum of Science and allows students to develop the foundational skills of engineering at a very young age.
In the world today, most students don’t study engineering until they get to college—if ever. But introducing children to engineering at a much younger age—as early as elementary school—makes sense. Children are naturally fascinated with building things, not to mention taking things apart to see how they work! Solving engineering design challenges involves highly effective learning strategies, including project-based and hands-on learning.
By learning the engineering design process, children build their problem-solving skills—skills that transfer to other disciplines, including math and science. And today’s society is increasingly dependent on advanced technologies, a reality that makes engineering and technological literacy essential 21st-century skills for all Americans. Despite the critical need to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy in all students, the number of American high school and college students who take courses in STEM subjects (and who go on to careers in STEM fields) is small, and it’s also declining.
The Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum has been expressly designed to address this critical need by increasing children’s STEM literacy. Inquiry-based and standards-driven, EiE teaches engineering content and skills, links engineering to the science and math students are already learning, and helps children develop positive associations with engineering and science—to see them as being integral to modern life, and also as potential career paths. The Engineering is Elementary project is based at the Museum of Science, Boston—the nation’s only science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster engineering and technological literacy in both science museums and schools. Launched in 2003 with support from the National Science Foundation, EiE is also supported by numerous foundations and corporations.