teacher building engineering project with students

Engineering for Kids

Oscar Pedroso Education

As STEM curriculums continue to grow in public school programs across the country, it is obvious that many parents will find them asking themselves the true effectiveness of this adaptive curriculum on their child’s education.  The acronym created for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), was not established until 2001.  Parents may remember the evolution of technology during their own time in childhood education, while engineering and STEM education is rapidly developing the learning experience for the next generation of students.  However new and partially unfamiliar, modern STEM and engineering programs for kids (from the 3D printer to online coding classes) are helping students across the country develop a wide skill set and better prepare for the future of industries in Engineering, Technology, and more.  Here’s why.

Developing Engineering Skills at a Young Age

students working on a robotics project

Beyond engineering and other STEM fields, STEM education and related programs help kids develop necessary skills applicable to whatever they choose to pursue.  Christine Cunningham (Museum of Science, Boston) states that skills associated with STEM focused learning such as problem solving should be considered “basic literacy”, and are crucial to early childhood development.  Kids are pushed to work collaboratively and begin solving complex problems, all skills that are applicable to a variety of fields and studies.

The Edvocate goes as far as to define 7 main benefits to engineering and STEM education.  Other benefits include fostering creativity and ingenuity in developing new ideas or innovations, encouraging experimentation and resilience in failure, stimulating technology use and knowledge application, as well as other factors promoting engineering learning.  Beyond basic life lessons and universal industry skills, engineering projects for kids also produce direct benefits in developing engineering mindsets when pursuing STEM related careers.

Getting Kids Ahead of the Curve

engineering student builds robotic hand

Whether your child pursues STEM or not in their future career, a basic understanding of engineering and mathematics are important pillars in our ever developing, technologically industrialized world.  However, careers in STEM are growing at the rapid rate of 17%, compared to the cross industry average of only 9.8%.  The growth of engineering careers is stimulating the economy with never before seen innovation and growth.  Globalization is on the rise, career pathways are transitioning from manual based to knowledge based, and those who do not adapt to this new science and technology core of business may fall behind in the future.  To say that a lack of STEM education will doom your child to an unsuccessful future is quite dramatic, but it’s accurate to acknowledge that kids with early development in engineering projects and activities will have a competitive advantage.

Online resources argue that the best way to help kids with Engineering and STEM is to take it a step outside of school classes: projects and activities must be viewed as more than just assignments or homework, but rather fun activities to build skills and gain knowledge among young kids.  Coding toys for kids, online subscription services, engineering kits, and other interactive STEM focused activities can increase comprehension and interest in the Engineering Design Process.  Create a connection to the importance of engineering in the real world and emphasize the importance of future technological development while stimulating this curiosity through an interest in STEM.

Thimble Helps Kids Develop Engineering Skills

electronics parts

Thimble is a great supplement to STEM education, an online subscription service that provides kids and parents with rebuildable engineering kits and access to online classes, guided tutorials, and other virtual programs.  It is an engineering kit for middle school students and up designed to help the next generation of innovators: from Electrical Engineering to Aerospace Engineering.  Thimble works hard to make your child feel like the master engineers they are and can be in the future, helping them achieve skills applicable to a variety of fields.  Help your kids learn engineering and give them a competitive edge, providing them with a wide variety of skills that can be used across all fields and careers.