Introduction to Engineering

Through an AFEE grant the kindergarten teachers are participating in a training program guided by The College of New Jersey to learn how to incorporate engineering into the their science curriculum. The Next Generation Science Standards will require that engineering be introduced at this grade level. This year we’re piloting some projects that we can incorporate into our kindergarten lessons.

Kindergarten’s introduction to iSTEM (Integrative Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics), with an engineering focus, is teaching our students to think about science in a different way. The students are driving the discovery, questioning and learning. With great enthusiasm, the teacher guides them to arriving at a solution to a problem they are trying to solve. Children at this young age are exploring the world in a unique way and these lessons compliment their development.

With an iSTEM approach, we are able to tap into this point of view and utilize it to implement new lessons. The children have tried a few short “challenges” including getting a bubble across the room without it popping, figuring out the fastest way to get all hands on a ball, and two building experiences that involve marshmallows and spaghetti, and popsicles and tape. “Challenge” time has quickly become a favorite part of the student’s day. The children are easily growing into the roles of teamwork that require communication, sharing and working together.

We look forward to our culminating unit on ecosystems where we will try to make birdhouses after studying how mother nature and our winged-friends design places to live.