Can my scholar become an engineer? The simple answer is, “Yes, your child can be whatever they want to be. The most interesting part is that your child can start training to be an “engineer” as early as 5 years of age. Engineers see a problem and develop a piece of technology to fix it. This technology does not have to be an electronic device. Engineers ask questions to find the problem that needs to get solved. Then they will imagine or brainstorm different solutions that can solve the problem. Third, they plan out what they want to create. Next, engineers create a model of the device that they would like to use to solve the problem and try to test it. Lastly, they will improve this model device by working out all of the kinks. In the end, the scholar becomes a “problem solver”. This can happen as early as birth!
When a newborn is hungry, they cry to get their caregivers’ attention then a bottle is given to them. The problem was being hungry and the solution was crying to get the attention of others in order to be fed. When we teach engineering to lower grade level scholars, we combine other subjects such as math and science with coding. Coders can develop a language to communicate with computers. This is another form of problem solving. We can also teach coding with or without computers. Solving puzzles are simple ways to teach coding. Surprisingly enough scholars are already coding when they play games such as Roblox and Minecraft. Learning to code and the engineering and design process will turn our gamers into game changers.
Coding requires critical thinking. Therefore, having the ability to use appropriate strategies to solve coding puzzles means that scholars can retrieve knowledge previously learned and utilize it to solve a problem. In becoming future engineers, scholars will experience the “productive struggle” in making mistakes that will mold them into becoming stronger individuals.