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Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

  • 1.  Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 05-19-2019 11:01 AM
    Do you have questions about teaching engineering habits of mind in early childhood education settings? Join me, Carrie Lynne Draper, and Beth Van Meeteren as we discuss how to support design thinking for children ages 3-8 in a dynamic free webinar, "Supporting Young Children's Creative Thinking Using Problems They Care About: Engineering Design In ECE," on Wednesday June 5, 2019, 2PM Eastern Time, 1.5 hrs long, archived, certificates for attendance.
    https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations/supporting-young-childrens-creative-thinking-using-problems-they-care-about-engineering-design-in-ece/

    I look forward to hearing about your teaching practices and your questions here in Hello, and during the webinar!
    Best wishes,
    Peggy

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-02-2019 09:56 PM
    I wrote a little bit about this webinar (which will be archived) on the NSTA Early Years blog: http://blog.nsta.org/2019/06/03/working-with-a-dream-team-learning-about-engineering-habits-of-mind/

    What were the circumstances where you have seen young children "Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool"?  (Engineering Design K-2-ETS1-1, a "by the end of grade 2" performance expectation in the Next Generation Science Standards).

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-04-2019 10:26 AM
    Thanks for covering the E in STEM. I look forward to the archived webinar and wish I could make the live one.

    My main question is: how do you honor the design process while directing the focus on the result?

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    Laura Weilert
    Owner
    that Science Fairy
    Colorado Spgs CO
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  • 4.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-09-2019 09:08 PM
    Thank you for the thought-provoking question, Laura--"how do you honor the design process while directing the focus on the result?"

    I discussed this briefly with the colleagues who I worked with on the webinar hosted by Early Childhood Investigations, "Supporting Young Children's Creative Thinking Using Problems They Care About: Engineering Design In ECE," now archived at https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/webinar-resources/
    I am paraphrasing the discussion here:

    From Dr. Beth Van Meeteren :
    We should center our questions around the child. To nurture creativity and innovation we should create a physical, socio-emotional, and intellectual environment in early childhood settings that forms creativity, systems thinking, optimism, collaboration, communication, and thinking about how the work affects others.

    A simplified design process poorly represents what engineers do and boxes children in with constraints. Instead of a rubric and checklist for the child to measure up to, how about a rubric and checklist for the adult? Instead of attempts to furnish the child's brain with a design process to follow, I suggest creating an environment that forms the brain to enable the child to creatively design and innovate.

    From Carrie Lynne Draper, MEd:
    Additionally, 'directing the focus on the result' tells a child to not trust their own designs or thinking process. They will learn to mimic a teacher's example, or look at peers 'results' to mimic. We want to foster that "growth mindset" and not have children participate in activities that contribute to developing behaviors associated with a "fixed mindset".

    So let's hear from all of you about how you approach providing opportunities for children to develop engineering habits of mind as they design and innovate to solve problems that are important to them!

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-11-2019 11:24 AM
    I usually propose a challenge and give materials to design a solution, without specific instructions on how to complete it. For example, when we were building flamingo nests out of mud, children were given soil and water spray bottles with a variety of "eggs" (plastic balls, golf balls, ping pong balls, etc). The original challenge was to create a mud nest that could hold one "egg" of their choosing. The engineering process came in the form of how much water to add into the soil, and how to mold a mound of mud with a crater that would hold their chosen egg. The variety of eggs meant that not every water/soil ratio would work the same - the solution isn't universal, but set forth by the child's choices. Once the children completed the challenge with one egg, some children created new challenges for themselves: a nest that would hold several eggs, and nests that would hold a larger egg or a heavier egg. In this way, I find that setting up a design challenge helps children focus on a solution without constraining creative problem solving.

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    Cheryl Potemkin
    Early Childhood and Family Programs Specialist
    BRIT - Botanical Research Institute of Texas
    Fort Worth TX
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  • 6.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-27-2019 03:03 PM
    Most children love working with soil, water, and mud! It's always interesting to see what consistency they prefer to work with and what they will make with it--pancake, mud cake, tower, mud ball, or soup. For children who are reluctant for any reason to touch it, I encourage them to find short sticks to allow them to get close but not too close!
    Peggy

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-28-2019 12:27 PM
    Speaking of this topic, does anyone happen to have a PowerPoint or training they have created on the topic of using STEM in the block area?  I'm planning on developing a training on this topic and am curious if someone in this group has already created one.  I'd love to take a look or pick your brain for ideas!

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    Sara McDowell
    Child Care Resources of King & Pierce Counties
    Seattle, WA
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  • 8.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 06-29-2019 06:43 AM
    The PDG TA Center's STEM for  Early Learners series has 11 modules that I think you will find very helpful.
    https://pdg.grads360.org/#program/stem-in-early-childhood

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 07-08-2019 02:21 PM
    The webinar, Supporting Young Children's Creative Thinking Using Problems They Care About: Engineering Design In ECE,

     brought early childhood educators together to share ideas and questions.  Carrie Lynne Draper, Beth Van Meeteren, and I answered a few questions submitted during the webinar, and have posted our answers to the others on the Early Childhood Investigations Webinars website--Thank you ECI!
    We also listed helpful comments and suggestions from participants--thank you to all who attended the live webinar and to those who will view the archive, including a resources handout.
    https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/qa-from-supporting-young-childrens-creative-thinking-using-problems-they-care-about-engineering-design-in-ece-by-peggy-ashbrook-carrie-lynne-draper-med-and-beth-van-meeteren-phd/



    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 07-08-2019 03:57 PM
    HI Peggy!  Thank you for sharing the webinar information and your resources!  I am working on a training for child care providers on this topic.  May I use your information if I credit you?  Thanks again for sharing this!

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    Sara McDowell
    Child Care Resources of King & Pierce Counties
    Tacoma WA
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  • 11.  RE: Engineering design thinking--blocks and beyond!

    Posted 07-08-2019 06:24 PM
    Hi Sara,
    Yes, please use the Early Childhood Investigations Webinars website and our materials if you give full credit to the platform and the authors. I hope you will also post your additional resources here for me and others to learn from!

    In my experience child care educators who own and operate their own businesses are very capable at using the available/found materials for supporting young children's design solutions. After you facilitate the training, please report back!
    Best wishes,
    Peggy

    ------------------------------
    Peggy Ashbrook
    Early childhood science teacher
    Alexandria, VA
    NSTA The Early Years columnist, Science and Children
    Early Years blogger, www.nsta.org/earlyyears
    Author: Science Learning in the Early Years, and
    Science Is Simple
    ------------------------------