‘When we encourage children to build with sand, blocks, paint, and glue, we are simply asking them to take what they know about science and apply it to the real world. In the truest sense, children are natural engineers’ ~ Martinez & Stager ‘Invent to Learn; Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom’
4-H is at the forefront of programs that provide opportunities for youth to partake in experiential and inquiry-based learning. When a spirit of innovation, creativity, and curiosity is added to this, you have an ideal setting for engineering education. Not only does that structure of 4-H lend to an ideal setting for engineering education, but engineering lends well to the 4 H’s of youth development.
Engineering is experiential learning at its finest. It requires one to utilize knowledge gained through experience and education to explain, predict, and measure the world around us. During the process problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; and competency in science, technology, engineering and math are developed.
A lot of heart is required during engineering. Successful engineers are cooperative and have great communication skills that allow them to work as a member of a team. Engineers also have a lot of passion and drive for what they do and why they do it.
Engineer is defined simply as ‘the maker of an engine’. The word engine comes from the Latin word ingenium which means clever invention. These clever inventions can be utilized to improve technolgy, methods, or infrastructure to change a club, community, country, or world.
The engineering process removes stigma from failure and turns it into a learning experience. Failure becomes simply a part of the problem solving process. One also learns through the process that there is no single ‘right’ answer to solving an engineering problem. These help instill confidence and character.
During the month of February the United States celebrates National Engineer’s week. This year’s Engineers week occurs February 22-28, 2016, so take some time this month to explore engineering or meet an engineer your community.
Here are some engineering resources for your use:
- Design and Discovery
- Design Squad Nation
- Discover e
- Engineering is Elementary
- Engineer Your Life