Engineers use science and math to create solutions to problems.
Here’s a simple lesson plan for exploring this career path:
- Begin with a KWL chart that captures what students already know about engineers and engineering. Once you’ve listed all the things you know about the subject, ask students for questions on the subject and put them in the “want to know” area. Questions might include, “What do engineers do?” “What classes should I take in high school to prepare for a job in engineering?” “Are engineers scientists?” or “What kinds of companies hire engineers?” You’ll go back at the end and add what you’ve learned.
- Have students explore online to determine what engineers do. Here are some websites to start with:
- Michigan State University Future Engineers discusses a range of engineering specialties.
- Discover Engineering has a flashy site with lots of videos, sounds, things to click, and information.
- EngineerGirl is directed toward girls and has scholarship contests just for girls. However, it has lots of information for anyone interested in engineering.
- A Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering gives specific examples of things engineers have made, and lists sites for every state that you can visit virtually or as a field trip.
- Once students have an overview, encourage them to find the answers to specific questions from the “want to know” section of your kwl chart. Students working on the same questions could work together in groups.
- Give students time to prepare presentations using Kid Pix, PowerPoint, or Sliderocket. As the presentations are given, add the answers to the “what we learned” section of the KWL chart.