From the time our daughter was old enough to play she took to assembling and building things like a duck does to water. Puzzles and LEGOS kept her busy for hours and she was building sets geared for older children long before the suggested age on the box.
When other girls were playing with Barbies and pretend food, Amber was mixing up slime and creating science projects.
Her first award into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) was in first grade when she won her school science fair and was able to participate in the city wide one.
From there her interest in the STEM fields just grew. She was fortunate enough to attend a magnet school for gift learners where the kids had excellent teachers and resources for excelling in those subjects. Special presentations, field trips, projects and clubs helped fuel the kids to succeed then and in the future.
For a myriad of reasons after Amber finished sixth grade we decided to homeschool. Being able to find those kinds of resources now fell on me and when you have a child whose “Why?” and “How?” questions go beyond what you are able to answer, leads you to ask friends and a lot of internet searches.
In 2009, Amber’s Girl Scout Troop Leader (who also happens to be my BFF), forwarded along a national essay contest application for Engineer Girl. The essay was to revolve around one of three pictures and the girls were to answer “”Imagine That! Engineering Innovation” about their choice
She chose this picture and wrote her essay on the engineering principles on how and why it could be a power core for the International Space Station. And as biased as I am when it comes to my own kid…she won third place in the middle school division, so it must have been pretty good .
You can see why then that I’m a proponent of all things STEM both in our homeschool and in the community, and why I’m excited to share with you about DiscoverE.org.
DiscoverE is a 24/7/365 resource for teachers and parents looking for fun introductory engineering activities and videos, compelling information about engineering educational options and careers, field trip ideas, and more. Powered by volunteers it’s a website that helps people understand the critical role of engineering in our lives.
A lot of young people (and old ones too!) don’t really realize how many careers use engineering. Engineers work in almost every conceivable field from medicine, to law, to business, to manufacturing, to agriculture, and more! That’s why it’s important for all of us to get involved and introduce our tweens and teens to what engineers do. Engineers are changing the world all of the time. They dream up creative and practical solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. Your child could be a part of that future!
I’m thankful to the teachers, parents and volunteers that have been involved in Amber’s STEM education over the years. Getting kids involved in project-based learning at home or in school is the gateway to learning how engineering makes a difference in people’s lives and helps kids understand the value of learning math and science. Girls especially seem to thrive on projects as a gateway to engineering as a career choice, and my daughter is a poster child for that! Events like the Future City Competition and Girl Day, allow students to Test Drive Engineering and give them a peek on how they could have a career in engineering.
There’s a number of ways you can learn more about DiscoverE.org, the Future City Competition, volunteering and/or how to introduce your children or students to engineering. You can visit the websites by clicking on any of the links in this post. You can connect with DiscoverE on Faceboook as well as the Future City Competition plus you can Join in on Twitter for a #GirlDay2014 #STEMchat on February 19 at 9 PM Eastern in honor of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.
What sort of ways have your children been introduced to engineering? Have you visited DisoverE.org? If so what did you like about it or what resources will you use from it with your kids?