[In many schools the opportunity to tackle the “E” – Engineering – in STEM is quite challenging. Here’s an example from Mindshift that outlines a program with Boeing that provides students with real world experiences to look at designing wind turbines. In the Pittsburgh area there are many districts integrating design challenges and activities into their curriculum. I’m working with the Energy innovation Center and Parkway Way Career and Technology Center in Pittsburgh to develop a series of design activities where students put on a consultant’s hat to address the design challenge.]
The design and engineering process is an important part of the Next Generation Science Standards, but it can be difficult for teachers to work in challenges that feel authentic and relevant in the real world. Several public school teachers in Seattle and Houston worked with Boeing engineers to develop engineering curriculum that both meets required standards and gives kids a chance to build something with their hands. The Teaching Channel documented some of the lessons in practice. In the video below, students in Houston are exploring concepts of lift and drag while designing wind turbines.