December
15

 

My daughter’s second grade class recently completed this worksheet together as a class.

Mulit-step problems are the foundation of engineering and a great way to teach critical thinking skills – a 21st century essential skill.

 

This sheet is from “The MAILBOX” magazine for teachers.  More info can be found at
http://www.theeducationcenter.com/tec/.   Membership is free & easy.

 

Look for skill labels such as:

*“problem solving”,

*“critical thinking”,

*“logic”,

*“sequencing story details” -basis for all computer programming and most engineering projects,

*“elapsed time”,

*“parts of a set” &

*”word problems”

 

Do you have any special Holiday worksheets or activities to share?

 

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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June
5

Pencils

Posted In: Engineering Partakings by Patty

from school.discoveryeducation.com

 

A friend shared this today and I wanted to pass it along. Enjoy!…

A pencil maker told the pencil five important lessons just before putting it in the box:

 

1. EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK .

2. YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.

3. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.

4. IN LIFE , YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENINGS, WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.

5. TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

 

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May
16

photo courtesy of wallstory.wordpress.com

Recently, an elementary teacher from Virginia shared with me a fun & clever teacher inservice they held at their school – a Royal Engineering Celebration.

Their inservice was on the same day as the Royal Wedding of Prince William and the-now-Princess Kate.  “We had tea, scones and cookies and the wedding on the large screen.  Then we had four wedding related design briefs for everyone to do.  It was light and fun and the perfect way to show everyone that children’s engineering can be tied into absolutely anything!!”

What are some engineering activities that could relate to the Royal Wedding?  One example is Crown Engineering.  Using felt or construction paper, ask the children to engineer a crown following your design guide.   The design guide could include:

a) 3 or more points on your crown;

b) 4 or more decorations (best to have piles of possible decorations on their tables, such as buttons, glitter, stickers, etc.);

c) at least 2 colors and

d) 15 minutes to create

 

Give it a try and let your students have fun!

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

 

 

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April
21

from www.woodstock-georgia.olx.com

This post was inspired by a recent email discussion – not by the BP disaster.

Engineering’s “leaky pipeline” often refers to women engineers who leave engineering.  I challenge the engineering field to deeply examine their views of the leaky pipeline.

Some engineers leave an engineering job to use their engineering skills in a new way.  Their official title may no longer be Product Development Engineer, but they could very well still be doing engineering.

Ultimately, I think that is want we want to strive for – engineers working in all different types of jobs and fields, not just the “typical” engineering job.  The world will be much better off with more people trained in engineering problem solving skills spread amongst a variety of disciplines.

 

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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April
7

from www.indiana.edu

For students (and schools) just starting elementary engineering, students can journal – through words and/or pictures – about their engineering experience and the engineering process they used.  At first, I recommend few guidelines on how to journal about their engineering project.  Let the students have room to express themselves for the first month or even year depending on how often the students engage in engineering projects.

As the school year progresses, the students can begin journaling about their experiences with each phase of the engineering design process or engineering process loop, as I like to call it.  Their notebooks might look something like this for the Gingerbread Trap Engineers activity in my Teacher’s Resource Guide:

 

IDEAS:

-build trap with 3 levels

-build trap wide

-use blocks and boxes

 

PLAN/DESIGN:

-draw their trap design idea

-or write out steps to build, ie

1. Build base out of large blocks

2. Build walls out of boxes

3. Use 6 long blocks for trap

 

CREATE:

-students can sketch their final trap design

-or large blocks did not work as base, changed design to boxes for base

 

TEST:

-only needed 3 blocks to trap gingerbread instead of 6

 

MODIFY:

-next time use 2 long blocks + 2 short blocks for trap

 

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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March
25

from www.iteea.org

WOW!  What a wonderful experience this Conference has been for me – and that was just the first few hours.  Never have I heard the words “children’s engineering” and “elementary engineering” so many times from so many different people in a span of 6 hours!  Excited for the many more great hours to come!

Wish me luck – I present this afternoon for the Children’s Council of ITEEA!

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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March
18

from www.iteea.org

I am so excited!

I’ve been invited to present at the ITEEA National Conference in Minneapolis, MN, next week.  I have been happily preparing my presentation – “Engineering Our ABC’s: Preschool to 4th Grade” as well as my handout and props for my Teaching Showcase presentation – “Elementary Engineering – It’s all Fun & Games!”

Minneapolis is so THE place to be at the end of March for this conference.  Minnesota’s education system is very progressive and they are diving right in to this “new” notion of engineering in the elementary classroom.  I look forward to meeting many new friends and learning so much more about engineering in the elementary classroom from some very innovative teachers!

 

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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March
11

Elementary schools around the country are adding engineering to their curriculum.  Some schools I know of personally along with highlights of their engineering curriculum are:

Monroe Elementary -  in Minnesota. Engineering Carnival, STEM Fairs

University Avenue Elementary – also in Minnesota.  STEM Fairs, STEM curriculum integrator position.  Transforming into the “Aviation, Children’s Engineering and Science” school.

Kent Gardens in McLean, VA.  Excellent elementary engineering newsletter – “The STEMulator”  &  National Engineer’s Week Celebrations.

Do you know of any others?  Tell me about them in the comments of this post or at the Engineering the ABC’s Facebook Page found here!

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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February
25

Mother Nature has given us a beautiful natural world.  And I give thanks.

When I want to give thanks for the helpful items in my human-made world, I turn to engineers.  Engineers help make the world a better place and my colleague, Celeste Baine of the Engineering Education Service Center, writes of this “social conscious” in her latest blog posting – “Making a Better World”.    Read more here…

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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February
17

National Engineer’s Week is coming Feb. 20-26, 2011.

To help teachers prepare, the past two weeks I have been providing one quick and easy tip for bringing Eweek into the elementary classroom.  Click here to view Tip #1 and Tip #2

I hope you have found these quick tips helpful.  If you’d like to see more quick tips like these, leave a comment or email me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com.

Here is Tip #3:

3.  Use Activity Sheets

Activity sheets can be a fun way to strengthen children’s understanding of engineering.  Especially puzzle activity sheets that reinforce some engineering words and concepts while developing a child’s strategic and problem solving skills.  Activity sheets are also a great way for children to “see” the word engineer or engineering in print – something many of them are not used to seeing.

I’ve developed a number of engineering-related activity sheets – from search-a-words, to coloring page puzzles, to “create a new word from a phrase” sheets.   I’m happy to share these activity sheets with elementary teachers.  If you’d like some of these sheets emailed to you, send me a note to patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com with your email address and grade you teach.

Together we can make engineering happen!

Cheers,

Patty

Would you like engineering in your elementary school?  I am an engineer, children’s author and educational consultant specializing in helping elementary schools bring engineering into their curriculum.  Contact me at patty [at] pattyobriennovak.com to discuss budget and time friendly ways to introduce elementary children to engineering.

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