When I realized that last week was National Engineering Week, the week was practically already over. I tried to salvage things by doing some engineering with my 5th grade last Thursday – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Ironically, there are only 5 girls in my 5th grade class of 18. But that’s still a higher percentage of females represented in my class than in the engineering workforce according to this article.
During my attempt to find an informational engineering website that would appeal to my students, I stumbled on eGFI (Engineering – Go For It!). This site shows the many different professions that fall under the umbrella of “engineering.” You can read about all of them, find out how to make a difference in each career, and “meet” engineering students as well as current engineers by reading their bios and major accomplishments.
My students enjoyed just browsing the site and writing down 6 facts that they didn’t know about engineering that they learned from the site. I wrote down 6 myself, and could have continued for another 50, I have a feeling!
The eGFI Magazine was a huge hit (but it seemed to work better on the tablets than on the PC), with articles about everything from movie-making to fast cars.
Of course, I didn’t have my students just read about engineering. We attempted to do our own engineering by designing the best ways to make straws fly through the air. I gave them this activity from Zoom after they had tested out other options – some of which worked better. (They are still reporting back to me on iterations they continued to create at home.)
On the way to lunch on Thursday, I overheard one student say, as if in complete surprise, “Engineering is really fun!”
I guess I need to do a better job at communicating that!