A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about the engineering field and principles involved in engineering work. The content covers a variety of disciplines, including aerospace, agricultural and biological, bioengineering and biomedical, computer, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Activities touch on concepts such as electricity, forces, and simple machines. Some involve elements like transportation, sports, and structures. The site offers a good amount of exercises, videos, and other materials to help kids get hands-on engineering experience in fun, interesting ways. It's a great resource for kids who are or may be interested in the field.
The activities emphasize learning through experimentation and trying new things.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that DiscoverE features information for kids in grades K-12 about engineering and items to help adults discuss the subject. There are no ads included anywhere on the site or its related pages. While some content is intended to help adults offer engineering-related advocacy, there's nothing inappropriate on the site. Most of the content for kids involves engineering-related learning activities that take from 30 minutes to multiple days to complete. To download the exercises, you need to enter your first and last name, email address, city and state, country, what organization you're with, and select volunteer, educator, or other.
Is It Any Good?
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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