TThe NGSS Framework recommends that students explicitly learn how to engage in engineering design practices to solve problems. Engaging in engineering practices requires an engineering mindset.
So how do we develop an engineering mindset in our students?
Teach students how to track their own thinking processes during STEM challenges.
The Engineer’s Log Top Tab Foldable® can be used with any STEM challenge. Students label the steps of the engineering design process on the tabs. There is plenty of room under each tab for them to jot down their thinking, draw diagrams, and record data. Using it to track their process will help students develop an engineering mindset as they learn the importance of asking, imagining, designing, testing, improving and reflecting, all thinking processes that are central to engineering design.
The packet includes the following:
-A lesson to introduce the engineering design process to your students
-A Engineer's Log Foldable® cover and cutting guide and directions for how to make top tab foldables® that will be used as logs for students to track their engineering design process during STEM challenges
-A STEM lesson, The Mint Mobile Challenge, to use with the Engineer's Log Foldable®. The lesson includes questions for the teacher to ask which will guide students log entries.
-A Powerpoint presentation that introduces the STEM Mint Mobile Challenge
-A printable Engineer's Log Question Guide which will help students remember what to record in their logs during STEM challenges
We have included a sample STEM activity, The Mint Mobile Challenge, which will provide students with a fun, engaging problem to solve as they apply the engineering thinking processes.
Using this Foldable® to capture their thinking as they complete STEM challenges will help students develop the mindset of engineers; understanding that asking questions, engaging in teamwork, learning from trials and errors, being flexible to new ideas, recording data, and reflecting on results will all lead to better solutions.