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Engineering is Elementary (EiE)

Engineering is Elementary

Sponsored by the Boston Museum of Science, EiE (see eie.org) is the premier elementary engineering curriculum.  Building on children's natural tendencies to engineer, EiE inspires innovation and produces lifelong STEM learners.  The EiE curriculum is a project--based, student-centered curriculum that will transform student learning.  Students work collaboratively to solve an engineering challenge as they learn to ask questions and pursue their own answers.  Research on the EiE Curriculum shows that students will:

  • learn the Engineering Design Process, a process for critical thinking that can be applied to any curriculum
  • learn about a variety of engineering fields and gain a realistic view of what it means to be an engineer
  • learn that technology is much more than cell phones and tablets and understand the relationships between engineering, technology, science, and math
  • improve understanding of science concepts and processes with hands-on and relevant lessons
  • improve ability to think mathematically with opportunity to apply mathematical knowledge to a relevant problem
  • gain a global viewpoint of the engineering challenges of the future

Read What Davis Teachers Say About EiE

Learn about the Engineering is Elementary Curriculum Options

EiE Resources

Research - An Executive Summary of the research conducted the first 10 years of the program.

An Overview of the EiE Curriculum

How to Choose an EiE Unit

Alignment of EiE Curriculum and the NGSS

Alignment of Engineering Adventures and the NGSS

Alignment of Engineering Everywhere and the NGSS

Engineering Design Process Poster 1

Engineering Design Process Poster 2

Available Units - Descriptions/Standards

EiE For Kindergarten

About EiE for Kindergarten

The EiE for Kindergarten curriculum consists of three components: educator guides, storybooks, and materials kits.

Educator guides include step-by-step instructions to help educators with no experience in engineering to lead engineering lessons, materials preparation information, discussion prompts, educator tips, and a poster illustrating the Engineering Design Process.

Full color illustrated storybooks set the stage for engineering. Each storybook features a young child solving a real-world problem using engineering and is designed to support science vocabulary and literacy.

Materials kits include all the supplies needed for 24 students to complete the engineering activities in the unit.  A list of necessary supplies is also provided in the educator guide so that teachers can source their own materials.

Units Available for Checkout:

About the Kindergarten Unit:  Here’s the Scoop:  Designing Trash Collectors

In this unit, students will become environmental engineers as they work to save a fictional duck from a polluted pond. They’ll explore animal habitats and ecosystems, humans’ impact on the environment, and recycling and environmental stewardship as they engineer their own trash collectors.

About the Kindergarten Unit:  Raise the Roof: Designing Shelters

In this unit, students are challenged to protect a fictional dog from getting too warm in the sunlight. They’ll learn about concepts related to the warming effects of the Sun, light and shadow, and animals and animal needs as they engineer a shady shelter roof.

 

EiE

About the EiE Curriculum:

Engineering is Elementary units consist of three components: teacher guides, context-setting storybooks, and materials kits. Teacher guides include four detailed lesson plans, background content, teacher tips, suggestions for English Learner differentiation and grade level adaptation, and duplication masters for student handouts and assessments. Additional unit-specific resources include Spanish translations, content area connections, standards alignments, extension lessons, classroom videos, and more!

Rather than providing grade level recommendations, we have simply provided specific standards met by the units. 

Available EiE Units

Sounds Like Fun: Seeing Animal Sounds

About Sounds Like Fun:  Seeing Animal Sounds

This unit brings new excitement to the study of sound. The storybook  Kwame’s Sound introduces a young drummer from Ghana who is blind; his father, an acoustical engineer, shows Kwame that sound is vibration and can be represented with both visual symbols (such as musical notation and spectrograms) and tactile symbols. Hands-on activities in this unit lead students to explore the properties of volume and pitch, investigate ways to damp sound, and develop their own novel way to represent the key elements of sound.

NGSS:  Physical Science

1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

1-PS4-4. Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

To Get to the Other Side: Designing Bridges

About To Get to the Other Side:  Designing Bridges

When civil engineers design bridges, they must take into account factors like balance and motion. This unit introduces the principles behind bridge design with the storybook Javier Builds a Bridge, about a boy who needs a safe footbridge to get to his island play fort. Students will reinforce their understanding of “push” and “pull” as they explore how forces act on different structures. They’ll use what they know about balance and force as they experiment with beam, arch, and suspension bridges—and learn how bridge designs counteract and redirect forces and motion. In the final design challenge, students plan, build, and test their own bridges.

 

Davis DESK Standard, Grade 3:

Explore the attributes of gravity, force, and motion.

 

Utah State Standard:  Grade Level 1

Students will gain an understanding of Physical Science through the study of the forces of motion and the properties of materials.

There are many connections between science, technology, and human activity.

Science and engineering affect the world in many ways.

Forces acting on a bridge can make it unstable.

Structures are stable when the forces on them are balanced.

A force is a push or a pull on an object.

The position and motion of an object can be changed by a push or a pull. The size of the change depends on the strength of the push or pull.

The various geometric shapes present in bridges have different strengths and weaknesses.

Different shapes can distribute forces in different directions.

Controlled experiments can help determine the differing strengths of bridge types.

 

NGSS:  Physical Science

K-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.

K-PS2-2. Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.

A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process

About A Work in Process:  Improving a Play Dough Process

When following a recipe, the amount of each ingredient and the order in which they are mixed matters. Chemical engineers use these same principles when designing processes. When students read the storybook Michelle’s MVP Award, they learn about a girl who designs a better way to make play dough. The activities in this unit reinforce the science concepts “solid” and “liquid” as students explore the properties of different materials—and the properties of mixtures of materials. The final engineering design challenge? Design a process for making high-quality play dough.

Davis DESK Standard:

Grade 5

Investigate the chemical and physical changes in matter.

 

Utah State Standards

Grade Level 5:  Students will understand that chemical and physical changes occur in matter

Solids retain their shape when moved

 Liquids take the shape of the container in which they are being held

The three states of matter are solid, liquid, and gas

Natural materials can be distinguished from artificial materials

Two or more substances that are physically (not chemically) combined are a mixture.

Solids and liquids can be combined to create a mixture.

 

NGSS:  Physical Science

2-PS1-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

2-PS1-2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose

5-PS1-4. Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.

 

Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills

About Catching the Wind:  Designing Windmills

Mechanical engineering involves the design of anything with moving parts. In this unit, students will think like mechanical engineers—and also use their understanding of air as wind—to design and create wind-powered machines. The storybook Leif Catches the Wind introduces students to wind turbines that generate renewable energy. Students will study how common machines such as mechanical pencils and eggbeaters work, then use their mechanical engineering skills to design sailboats and windmills that catch the wind

Davis DESK Standard, Grade 4

Study the elements and patterns of weather and water.

 

Utah State Standard:  Grade Level 4

Students will understand that the elements of weather can be observed, measured, and recorded to make predictions and determine simple weather patterns.

Wind is moving air.

Wind (moving air) has energy.

Wind pushes on objects and interacts with them.

Wind interaction can be used to do work.

The energy of the wind can be harnessed to do work.

 

NGSS:  Physical Science

4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object

NGSS:  Earth Science

4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.

An Alarming Idea: Designing Alarm Circuits

About An Alarming Idea:  Designing Alarm Circuits

The lessons in this unit will get students thinking like electrical engineers, starting with the storybook A Reminder for Emily, about a girl living in the Australian outback who needs an alarm to remind her when it’s time for chores around the ranch. The hands-on activities in this unit reinforce science concepts including conductors and insulators, schematic diagrams, and circuits. For the final engineering design challenge, students plan, create, and improve their own alarm circuit.

 

Davis DESK Standard: 

Grade 3

Explore the source of heat and light.

Grade 5

Explore the features and behavior of magnets and electricity.

 

Utah State Standard:  

Grade Level 3

Students will understand that the sun is the main source of heat and light for things living on Earth. They will also understand that the motion of rubbing objects together may produce heat.

Grade Level 5

Students will understand features of static and current electricity.

Electricity is one form of energy.

Energy can be transformed

A switch can be used to control when a circuit is closed (complete) and open (incomplete).

Electrical energy can be transformed into other forms of energy, including light, heat, motion, and sound. Short circuits occur when wires are connected to a battery without a bulb, buzzer, or other resistor in between

Electricity moves easily through some materials (conductors) and does not move easily through other materials (insulators)

 

NGSS: - Physical Science

4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

Now You're Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens

About Now You're Cooking:  Designing Solar Ovens

In Botswana, where firewood for cooking fuel is in short supply, people are turning to solar-powered cookers as an alternative. The storybook Lerato Cooks Up a Plan introduces the idea of using the sun as a renewable energy source and sets a framework for this unit’s activities. Students are introduced to the concepts of thermal insulators and thermal conductors, then they test different materials to find the best insulators. They consider the life cycle and environmental impacts of each insulator, then design and test their solar ovens and do some solar cooking!

 

Davis DESK Standard:

6th Grade:  How Energy Affects Matter

Plan and carry out an investigation to determine the relationship between temperature, the amount of thermal energy transferred, and the change of average particle motion in various types or amounts of matter.

NGSS – Earth Science

4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment

NGSS – Physical Science

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

Engineering Adventures

About Engineering Adventures

Engineering Adventures units are designed to be particularly engaging, flexible, and easy to implement for grades 3 through 5.  The units are narrated by two students, India and Jacob, who take students around the world to help solve real world problems.  The main focus of the Engineering Adventures units is to teach students how to solve problems using the engineering design process.  As students work through the open-ended challenges, they will also explore the properties of materials and conduct investigations.  Students will come to understand that as engineers, they too have the talent and potential for designing and improving technologies.   

The units include an educator guide, a student journal, and materials kits.  Resources that are provided online include helpful tutorials, recorded messages,  and links to related readings and videos that feature the real world connections.

Units Available for Check Out

Light Up the Night

About Light Up the Night

While visiting Iceland, India and Jacob learn that they get to help design a display for the annual Light Festival! After experimenting with circuits and sculpting materials, students design a light display that replicates the Northern Lights. 

 

Davis DESK Standard: 

Grade 5

Explore the features and behavior of magnets and electricity.

Utah State Standard:  

Grade Level 5

Students will understand features of static and current electricity.

Electricity is one form of energy.

Energy can be transformed

A switch can be used to control when a circuit is closed (complete) and open (incomplete).

Electrical energy can be transformed into other forms of energy, including light, heat, motion, and sound. Short circuits occur when wires are connected to a battery without a bulb, buzzer, or other resistor in between

Electricity moves easily through some materials (conductors) and does not move easily through other materials (insulators)

 

NGSS: Physical Science

4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. 

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one force to another. 

5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. 

 


Rockets and Rovers

About Rockets and Rovers

Jacob is at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory learning how to engineer rovers that can be used to explore faraway worlds. Meanwhile, India is learning about the trade-offs and variables involved in engineering a rocket as she blasts off to the International Space Station. Students will engineer rockets and rovers to help India and Jacob explore several planets and moons in our solar system.

 

Davis DESK Standard:

Grade 3

Explore the attributes of gravity, force, and motion.

 

NGSS:  Physical Science

3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. 

5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. 

Engineering Everywhere

About Engineering Everywhere

Engineering Everywhere is like Engineering Adventures  – the only difference is the grade level range:  grades 6-8.  As with Engineering Adventures, the mission is to create engaging learning that positively impact youth's attitudes about their abilities to engineer.  Units are designed to provide meaningful and globally relevant challenges that empower students to problem solve, think creatively, and learn from one another.

 

Units Available for Checkout

Pandemic Response: Engineering an Outbreak Alert

About Pandemic Response:  Outbreak Alert

In a world where we are more connected than ever, diseases can spread rapidly! Youth will become biomedical engineers as they explore how to prepare for outbreaks of highly contagious diseases. They will use the Engineering Design Process to design an antiviral to stop a newly discovered virus from infecting a model cell. 

 

NGSS:  Life Science

MS-LS1-1 Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells. 
MS-LS3-1 Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes of genes (mutations) may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function 
MS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

 

Plants to P{astics: Engineering BioPlastics

About Plants to Plastics: Engineering BioPlastics

When plastic items are thrown in the trash, they can quickly pile up in landfills and create a big mess! Use your chemical engineering skills to explore problems created by traditional plastic materials and engineer bioplastics—plastics made from plant-based materials—as a potential solution to current plastic problems.

NGSS:  Physical Science

MS-PS1-2 Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. 

MS-PS1-3 Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society 

MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. 

Put a Lid On It: Engineering Safety Helmets

About Put a Lid On It:  Engineering Safety Helmets

When you bike, board, or play ball, you wear a helmet. But do you know how helmets work? Use biomechanical engineering to design your own helmet for a crash-test dummy. 

 

NGSS:  Physical Science

MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. 

To Check Out EiE Units and Materials Kits

Please e-mail Julie Sargent jsargent@dsdmail.net.

You will need to provide the following:

1)  Your name

2)  Your school

3)  Your position

4)  Unit requested

5)  How long you will need the item.  EiE Kits can be kept up to 4 weeks as it may take that long to complete a unit. 

It is preferable that teachers or schools arrange for kits to be picked up but district transport can be requested if necessary. 

When returning the unit, please let Julie (jsargent@dsdmail.net) or Annette (afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net) know if any of the consumable supplies need to be replenished.

Check Out Calendar