Including engineering in your child’s education might appear an unusual choice. Alongside English language and more hands-on subjects such as arts and crafts, engineering is often forgotten. Just consider how engineering sits as the often overlooked ‘E’ in the now-popular educational focus for STEAM subjects at schools – these being science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. As a parent, how can you be sure that engineering is being included in school’s curriculum? Furthermore, what benefits does engineering really offer in a child’s education?
Engineering boasts numerous benefits for young brains. It encourages problem solving, promotes questions and even inspires budding inventors. Engineering encourages children to make and create, says Monica Dolan, early educator at The Children’s Center: “You’re coming up with the ideas, the blueprints.” By enabling children to investigate and look into how things work and why, parents are actively encouraging engineering and STEAM-based learning.
Around one in 20 jobs will be STEM related by the year 2018, according to Stem Jobs, meaning there is no better time than the present to choose a high caliber institution which will help kick start your child’s career right from the word go.
At Indian Mountain School, in Lakeville, United States, students are encouraged to think laterally and enjoy engineering as part of the institution’s varied curriculum. From recycling to cross-curricular activities, read on to discover five ways in which engineering can benefit your child’s education:
1. Engineering encourages innovation
From creating models using recycled material to experimenting with robotics, engineering encourages students to think outside the box, creating innovative solutions and responses to problems. Indian Mountain School is in its second year of growing a ‘Maker’ culture that encourages innovation and teamwork. The IMS Maker Space is located in a 3,500 foot Student Centre, which opened in 2014, providing an environment in which students can explore and share ideas and concepts. Current Maker Space electives include Robotics, at both level 1 and level 2, with some students taking part in the state wide robotics fair, the Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC), held in April each year.
Our Maker Space has quickly become one of the most used rooms on campus. In the process, it has allowed our students to explore, create, break, and ultimately become aspiring engineers. Here is a quick clip of a few of our students having their first lesson in using soldering equipment, with the goal being to successfully power LED lights.
Posted by Indian Mountain School on Monday, 11 January 2016
2. From friendships to the workplace, and building better relationships
From relationships with classmates, to building a good rapport in the workplace, engineering encourages children to work in a team, exploring and developing concepts alongside their peers. Engineering encourages children to be confident, discovering new options and thought processes. At IMS, the school’s Maker community promotes students and staff members working together in a variety of capacities.
3. Covering all aspects of the curriculum
Engineering also lends itself to all aspects of the school curriculum, from art and design projects to technical vocabulary usage in an English language class. Cross-curricular initiatives have brought English Language as well as arts and civics classes into the IMS Maker space. Students have had to discuss the ethics of lawful drone use, a current project during which students are penning biographical stories within a three dimensional construct. The IMS middle school has also been developing original sound tracks to accompany poetry written by the fifth grade. Students have to work in teams to compose their sound tracks from scratch, programming the sound track to accompany an oral presentation given by students at the end of the unit.
4. Confident leaders
Making quick decisions, being spontaneous and managing a team while working on a project means that engineers also have to be confident leaders. At IMS students are encouraged and supported to voice their beliefs and question any topics that pose difficulty. In addition, the school will be hosting a Mini Maker Fair in April 2016, during which students will be able to exchange and engage with peers and adults involved in similar creative and engineering fields.
5. College and beyond
Technology and engineering are vital parts of our everyday lives. From re-configuring a smart phone to basic mental arithmetic, a quality STEAM education is beneficial to students during education and beyond. According to Public School Review, the National science foundation estimates that 80 percent of jobs available in the years to come will require math and science skills, meaning that there is no better time than the present to choose an institution which offers an all-round engineering focused education for your child.
This article was made sponsored by Indian Mountain School (IMS), a co-educational boarding and day school for students from pre-kindergarten through to grade nine. Since its establishment in 1922, IMS has encouraged its students to follow a “life through service,” encouraging compassion and respect amongst teachers and peers as part of the school’s warm and close-knit community. At IMS, students are encouraged to discover and explore their unique strengths and talents through a varied and challenging curriculum. Located in a beautiful, rural environment in Lakeville, U.S., at IMS students can enjoy their time both inside and outside of the classroom, while developing core values and making friendships which will last a lifetime.