Alexander Major II, Project ARISE; Brown University asked Eric Iversen, Start Engineering

PostedTuesday, April 21, 2015 at 8:11 PM

What type of engineering do you encourage with high school students?
How do you acquire the needed resources to pursue the possible engineering projects? Does it depend greatly on the type of engineering?
2 Answers
  • Posted Friday, May 1, 2015 at 11:41 AM
    At the high school level and before, it's best to focus on engineering "habits of mind," as people say these days. That means focusing on the design process more than a particular discipline or areas of technical content. The design process is the secret sauce of engineering -- it trains students to gather and analyze lots of different kinds of information towards a defined purpose. And it's applied to real-world tasks, where the better or worse solutions become readily apparent, so the feedback is embedded in the work itself, not something that comes from a teacher or other authority figure. Kids own the process, start to finish, if they're given the tools to make their way through it.
    0 Comments
    Please Login or Register to post a comment or Like an answer.
    {{settings.nrChars}}/ {{settings.maxChars}} chars
  • Posted Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:39 AM
    High school students are very rarely informed enough to select one engineering discipline over another, and rarely need to prior to being in college, because of the design of most college and university engineering programs. Additionally, new fields and interdisciplinary applications are continually arising, that make the divisions even more gray. I believe our goal should be to expose (middle and) high school students (and teachers and guidance counselors, who may even need it more!) to a variety of engineering and STEM fields, and focus on the solutions those teams of professionals provide. Focus, for instance, on NAE's Grand Challenges of Engineering, and encourage the students to consider the many fields of science, technology, engineering, and math that make local and global solutions to those challenges possible. I now no better way to teach K-12 students about what engineering is all about than by having them interact firsthand with the people who are STEM professionals.
    0 Comments
    Please Login or Register to post a comment or Like an answer.
    {{settings.nrChars}}/ {{settings.maxChars}} chars