EiE Extends Engineering Curriculum to Preschool, Kindergarten
The Museum of Science of Boston's school curriculum division, EiE, has released two Engineering curricula, one for kindergarten and one for preschool and pre-K programs, the first of their kind of early learners. The new curricula join EiE's Engineering is Elementary, an engineering curriculum for grades 1–5 that the organization reported "has been used successfully by more than 15 million students and 165,000 teachers over the past 15 years."
The new curricula include EiE for Kindergarten and Wee Engineer, the latter for preschool-aged students. Wee Engineer is designed to ease students aged 3 and up "into the worlds of science and technology" and to guide them "through an age-appropriate, three-step engineering design process — Explore, Create and Improve — as they design a technology that solves a problem. Wee Engineer engages children in active, hands-on, inquiry-based engineering projects that foster children's agency as engineers and that are flexible enough to meet the needs and abilities of different kinds of learners. It gives young children the opportunity to embrace engineering before stereotypes about 'who can engineer' take hold, and is designed to fit within the existing routines of preschool and Pre-K classrooms."
Meanwhile, EiE for Kindergarten includes two units comprising seven lessons each designed to teach students "to investigate properties and uses of materials, make evidence-based decisions and practice working collaboratively. An age-appropriate, five-step engineering design process — Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve — guides children through flexible, open-ended challenges. Built specifically for the typical kindergarten classroom structure, EiE for Kindergarten aligns to NGSS kindergarten science and engineering performance expectations and connects with other school subjects including science, English language arts, and math. It is designed to build interest and confidence in STEM as kids aged 5 and 6 develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively," according to EiE.
"This program is excellent for this age," said Yesenia Torres, a pre-K teacher from Lewisville, TX, in a prepared statement. "My students are only four years old, and I was amazed by the ideas they would come up with. I am completely fascinated with the idea of letting them know that we are all engineers."