Parents, Educators & Engineers

Dream It. Build It. Teach It!

Get kids excited about engineering.

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Engineers Week 2012

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Now THAT was a good party!  With nearly 10,000 kids and parents in attendance, Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. was a truly awesome event. Kids explored the world of engineering in all kinds of fun ways (i.e., slime, gumdrops, popcorn, and LEGOs, just to name a few). Then there was the dancing . . .

Design Squad Nation's multi-talented hosts, Nate and Deysi, spread the engineering love while gettin' down on the dance floor. (And no performance is complete without Nate droppin' beats. He's so good he's in the American Beatbox Championships!) Every hour, Nate and Deysi put on a rockin' dance show using motion-activated pads and sensors that triggered sounds and lights--with every slammin' move! We're talking serious moves, too. These guys caught major air!

Kids had a chance to explore circuits by checking out our Dance Pad Mania and Electric Highway activities, and got hands-on, WAY ON, when they sent Ping-Pong balls flying in Pop Fly. (Thanks IEEE and NSPE!)

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dance6.bmpdance15.bmpSee more photos and video from Discover Engineering Family Day 2012 on Facebook.

It's summatime.

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Summer can never seem to come soon enough--for pretty much all of us, it seems, but for kids especially. So let's take a moment to rejoice, because hallelujah, summer's here! But just because your kids are out of school, it doesn't mean the learning has to stop. Here are a few ways to slip some STEM into your barbeques, beach days, and road trips!


Still hungry for more? Battle your kids' complaints of boredom with THIS SUPER-SIZED CHALLENGE with super-sized prizes: Build Big (and win!)

Some content courtesy of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, Time to Invent, and eGFI.
Earth Day is April 22, so raise the (solar-paneled) roof and celebrate! Get your kids pumped about the planet--and engineering--with resources from these cool sites:

eGFI_logo.gifAmerican Society for Engineering Education
Check out the eGFI Teacher Blog for a list of Earth Day activities, lessons, and resources.

EYL.pngEngineer Your Life
Meet engineers Daniele Lantagne and Tanya Martinez. Daniele makes drinking water safe and Tanya helps communities access renewable energy sources.

nova-teachers.pngNOVA
Explore the NOVA Teachers site to learn about eight of the latest solar technologies, see inside a solar cell, find out how to capture carbon, and more.

NASAlogo2.pngNASA
See how NASA studies Earth from space and enter NASA's Earth Day video contest!

The Greens guide_cover.gifThe Greens
Encourage kids to take action and make green living a part of their lives. Download an activity guide with six activities ideal for after school programs.


Earth Day Network.pngEarth Day Network
Discover the Earth Day Educator's Network for standards-based lessons, school greening tips, grants for teachers and more.

TeachersDomain_72dpi.jpgTeachers' Domain
Examine environmental health issues with classroom-ready resources in TD's Environmental Public Health (EPH) collection.

ASCEville.bmpAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Take a trip to ASCEville to see how civil engineers make cities sustainable.



DS Nation Blue Logo.jpgDesign Squad Nation
Check out the Green resources in our Educators Library and don't miss the new 8-minute webisode Sustainable South Bronx. Judy and Adam help a South Bronx student build an air pollution monitoring device. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 now!


What do you do with your kids to recognize the importance of Earth Day?
(Leave a comment, we're all ears!)

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How do engineers make the world a better place? Take a trip to ASCEville to find out.

In ASCE's new online scavenger hunt, kids click around a virtual city to uncover--and discover--20 very cool examples of sustainable civil engineering (like green roofs, rain gardens, and permeable pavement). They'll never look at sidewalks the same way again!


For more ways to engage kids in conversations about civil engineering, check out ASCE's Educators, Parents, and Engineers section.

And for more fun engineering games, don't miss Fidgit and String Thing.



Game on!

Future engineers.

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judyandgirl2.pngThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for kickstick.pngWhat do you get when you put 200 teenage girls in a room with 60 female engineers, and add a few of our hands-on engineering challenges?

Future engineers.

This past November, Design Squad Nation partnered with the Society of Women Engineers and Girl Scouts of the USA to host an event in Orlando, Florida called Invent It. Build It. The goal was to give girls an opportunity to learn more about the engineering profession.

Judy Lee gave a rousing keynote speech and challenged the girls to get their engineer on with Pop Fly, Kick Stick, and Electric Gamebox. SWE's professional and collegiate members were on hand to advise when needed and share stories and experiences from their work.

The match-up was a huge success! The girls worked side by side with talented female engineers, asked them questions, and learned about different kinds of engineering jobs. At the end of the day, there were wild cheers for the great project designs created, but the excitement ran deeper than that. The girls' perceptions of engineering actually changed and we saw just how powerful the mentor/mentee relationship can be.

You can cultivate the same experience for your kids and it doesn't have to be at a large-scale event. Reach out to engineering firms, universities, and organizations in your community to find volunteer mentors. Give your kids a chance to become future engineers, too.

See more event photos and comment on this post on Facebook.