View Full Version : Thinking Engineering

07-14-2010, 10:18 AM
My youngest son has been interested in different engineering concepts for as long as I can remember. We might not have labeled them as such, but his mind and personality always seem to be drawn to solving problems via different methods. All the recent articles and giveaways this month about engineering have really gotten me thinking about it!

So I'm looking for something a little more formal this year to introduce him to the concepts of engineering, and the different sub-categories and careers of engineering. Has anyone found a late middle school or high school curriculum/book/website etc. they could recommend for this subject??

07-14-2010, 12:27 PM
My oldest son is interested in this area too, and I have been searching for some sort of curriculum for him. I came across the Stanford School of Engineering (http://see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx) site, and I think I may have him watch some of the lectures there. I haven't found much else yet. Hopefully others will chime in.

07-14-2010, 12:49 PM
What about shadowing engineers in their workplaces to get a feel for the different kinds of jobs? You probably know of someone who could open the door for him, so to speak.

07-14-2010, 01:29 PM
Great idea Jessica. My son, although young, is for sure headed in that direction too. My dad was an engineer and they share the same brain--too bad those genes totally skipped me! DS already has big plans--he designed an environmentally green car when he was 4 and 5, complete with a marketing plan, and is currently figuring out his production plans (including collaborating with car designers in South Korea). He is planning to earn his industrial design degree at MIT (we're seriously hoping for a scholarship!). For now all I can do is let him work on it in his head, but it will be interesting to see where he takes his ideas in the future and how to provide him the opportunities he'll need as his abilities catch up with his brain. I'll definitely be bookmarking all suggestions! :)

07-14-2010, 07:54 PM
Try Engineering is Elementary. http://www.mos.org/eie/index.php

07-14-2010, 09:48 PM
Try Engineering is Elementary. http://www.mos.org/eie/index.php

Wow...that is great stuff there!! It is actually a little too young for my son's grade level, but I wish I had known about it a few years ago!!

07-24-2010, 08:51 PM
The textbook site I posted has an engineering text: http://www.ck12.org/flexr/browse/

07-24-2010, 11:05 PM
I am a (former) engineer.

This looks like it might be helpful:


I would also check the websites of the professional associations for each of the main engineering disciplines, and see what might be available from those organizations. Scroll down to Appendix 2 in the Program Supplement document in the above link to get a list of the organizations with website links. If you are near a large metro area, most of those organizations have local chapters with regularly scheduled meetings, and you may be able to get permission to attend a meeting. If you have a local university with an engineering department, they may have something like a career day to attract students who might be interested in an engineering major, or to help a student choose their specific engineering discipline.

There are magazines for each specific discipline too, published by the professional organizations. You may be able to obtain sample copies of each magazine, or purchase a single issue of each, or borrow them through the library system.

He might also be interested in the Future Problem Solving program:


I don't know how easy it is for homeschoolers to get involved - I did it through school - but it might be worth checking out.

07-24-2010, 11:16 PM
I am no engineer but my son loves legos(obsessed) and robots so.... http://www.legoengineering.com/teaching-resources.html is an area we may venture very soon.

07-28-2010, 08:19 PM
Thanks for the continued suggestions...I've been researching some, and although many things are sadly school-only, there are some possibilities of resources for us as homeschoolers as well!

07-31-2010, 11:56 AM
Elizabeth - thanks for the link to the lego engineering site. My son is into lego mindstorms and I need to look into the lego curriculum.

Thanks Rick for the python code. I am going to email it to my husband, I'm sure he and my son will have fun with it.

07-31-2010, 12:54 PM
I just signed my son up for classes at Play-Well (http://play-well.org/classes/). They mix Lego and engineering.

07-31-2010, 07:30 PM
I used some stuff from this site for science last year. It's very well done - TeachEngineering.org (http://TeachEngineering.org/index.php)