What is Engineering?
Engineering is challenging to teach because the practice involves many disciplines. And, it is important to differentiate between science and engineering. Per the "Engineering is Elementary" program:
- Scientific knowledge can be used to make predictions.
- Engineering aims to produce the best solutions given resources and constraints.
The Next Generation Science Standards also make the differentiation between science and engineering:
- In the K-12 context, "science" is generally taken to mean the traditional natural sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, and (more recently) earth, space, and environmental sciences
- We use the term "engineering" in a very broad sense to mean any engagement in a systematic practice of design to achieve solutions to particular human problems. Technologies result when engineers apply their understanding of the natural world and of human behavior to design ways to satisfy human needs and wants.
What is STEM?
The STEM initiative seeks to help students make the real-world connection between science, technology, engineering and math. Good and meaningful jobs await in STEM related fields but it is a tough concept to share with K-12 students. We first encourage students to consider STEM fields, and in particular engineering, as a choice for education beyond high school. Good career options await, but additional education is the next step after high school.
In the College of Engineering, faculty and students prepare and implement programs for K-12 students who are interested in first-hand — and hands-on — exposure to the field of engineering.
At Carnegie Mellon, we are interested in creating the next generation of engineers and would like to help K-12 teachers find the resources that you need to introduce the concepts of engineering to your students.
If you are interested in scheduling a time for a researcher or faculty member in a STEM-related field to pay a visit to your classroom or career fair, please fill out our contact form. Note: Filling out this form does not guarantee that there will be a researcher or faculty member available to speak to your class, but only puts you into contact with our scheduler who will do what they can to set up the visit for you.
Here at Carnegie Mellon, we have some activities that you might download for use in your classroom. Additionally, you might find many more activities on the internet. Please take a look at the following:
- Try Engineering
- Engineering is Everywhere
- Teach Engineering
- National Science Foundation
- American Society for Engineering Educators
- National Education Association
View these videos to get a sense of some of the exciting engineering-related research being performed at Carnegie Mellon.
If you are interested in more information, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.