Nice profile of educator Christine Cunningham from THE Journal.
Nothing brings science more to life for young students than applying what they’re learning through engineering activities. That’s the idea behind Engineering is Elementary, an organization created at the Museum of Science in Boston by Christine Cunningham. EiE, as it’s known, has developed engineering curriculum for students in grades 1 through 5. (Now the team is also developing lessons for preschool.)
As a long-time researcher in the field of engineering education, Cunningham early on recognized that to draw more under-represented people — especially girls — into the field, there were principles the lessons needed to follow. For example, research has found that girls are more engaged when they understand why they are doing something by situating their learning in a larger context and when they can help people. Thus, each EiE engineering challenge begins with a story that provides a narrative context to help the children understand why they’re undertaking a given project and connecting it to helping animals, people, the environment or society.
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