Encouraging Your Kid’s Inner Engineer

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Nate Ball the host of PBS Kid’s Design Squad Nation, has shared some tips on how we can encourage creative engineering learning at home.

1. Don’t worry if you’re not an engineer yourself. Helping children learn how to ask relevant and meaningful questions about what they’ve made and then translating those questions into new actions is an effective way to facilitate your child’s creative learning process with any project. It’s a fun learning process for you too—enjoy it alongside them.

2. There’s no right or wrong answer. Helping your children learn to enjoy engineering activities is best accomplished by focusing on the design process, making observations and gaining new insights, and iterating—not about the specific outcomes and being “right.” Help your children determine for themseleves whether or not a given modification was meaningful in the way that that they wanted it to be. If it wasn’t, “how interesting!” is a totally appropriate response.

3. The process is fun! The real enjoyment comes from learning to use and enjoy the process of design. Assessing what you need to do in order to solve a problem is useful everywhere, not just for engineering.

Engineering. It is a passion and way of life for me. It also happens to be my job. And I LOVE MY JOB. I would be building and making things every day even if I didn’t get paid to do it. But the best thing is…I do get paid for it!

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