Parents' Guide to


By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Stellar source of engineering info and experiments.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

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Kids can access dozens of interesting activities that offer experience with a number of types of engineering. There's also career-related information on DiscoverE for kids who are considering entering the field. Ones who aren't considering becoming an engineer, though, may also enjoy trying some of the nearly 200 engaging exercises. They can see how drag from air friction affects a plane they've built, for example. Some don't even require many materials, such as a coding activity where kids write instructions to direct someone to build a pyramid with cups.

Kids may not be too interested in some of the content on the site, such as the engineering advocacy training videos meant for adults. But descriptions of what engineers do and types of engineering careers, along with tips on how to prepare to focus on engineering in college, offer helpful information for kids who hope to pursue a career in the field. Activities list a suggested grade level, the time they take, and the topics and specific engineering disciplines that are involved. Kids can search for activities by discipline or for items that feature certain elements, like electricity or health. Many activities mention real-world applications, such as using magnetism to move trains instead of fossil fuels. A number of the activities have directions that are intended for adults, not kids -- mostly likely educators, since kids are referred to as students -- with recommendations to address certain concepts kids might be unfamiliar with. That may not immediately resonate with kids, but since DiscoverE projects can involve multiple steps and assembling various materials, an adult may need to help kids complete them. Ultimately, though, this shouldn't prevent kids from wanting to try things from the site.

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