Modeling Engineering Practices | Click2Science

Modeling Engineering Practices

Purpose: Frontline staff and volunteers will facilitate STEM learning experiences for youth to engage in engineering practices, including defining the problem, design a solution, testing, responding to failure, and optimization.

As a result of ongoing, consistent professional development efforts, frontline staff and volunteers will be able to:

  • Design activities to emphasize effort, attention, practice, and persistence.
  • Encourage youth as they try out new skills with imperfect results.
  • Reinforce the understanding that engineers make mistakes and learn from their failures.
  • Support youth to accurately define problems including criteria and constraints.
  • Facilitate activities that encourage youth to apply the engineering design process and solve problems.
  • Engage youth in solving local problems.
  • Identify local engineers to visit your site, like technicians, musical instrument repair specialists, or computer scientists.
  • Keep notes, drawings, or tables to systematically show successes and failures.

Staff Development Guides

Staff development guides are designed for coaches and trainers to use when providing professional development to frontline staff or volunteers. These dowloadable step-by-step professional development guides include agendas, social and experiential learning activities, videos learning modules, supporting documents and handouts. The guides available below are design to support the skill Encouraging Collaboration. For more information about Staff Development Guides, please visit About Staff Development Guides.

  • This is a Test

    Participants will reflect on the Try and Try Again Video-Based Learning Module in order to emphasize the engineering design process.
    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
    Situation: 
    Meeting (small group)
    Length: 
    25 minutes
    Preview
  • Re-Testing and Success

    Participants will analyze a Video-Based Learning Module of staff supporting youth to re-test in order to help youth succeed through persistence.
    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
    Situation: 
    Coaching (one-on-one)
    Length: 
    15 minutes
    Preview
  • It's a Process

    Participants will engage in NASA's Heavy Lifting Balloon Rocket activity to plan high-quality engineering activities.
    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
    Situation: 
    Training (large group)
    Length: 
    80 minutes
    Preview
  • Easy as a Pickle Sandwich

    Participants will design a sandwich "protector" to learn how engineers use multiple practices to design solutions.
    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
    Situation: 
    Training (large group)
    Length: 
    60 minutes
    Preview
  • Design and Test

    Participants will use "What-If" cards in order to help youth engage in engineering design practices like using criteria and constraints, facing a failed test, and redesign.
    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
    Situation: 
    Coaching (one-on-one)
    Length: 
    15 minutes
    Preview

Self-Directed Web Lessons

Click2Science Web Lessons offer self-directed, on-demand professional development for frontline staff and volunteers. Web Lessons are hosted on Penn State Extension's Better Kid Care learning managemente system. To take a Click2Science Web Lesson, please review our instructions for accessing lessins on Better Kid Care. For more information about Self-directed Web Lessons, please visit About Web Lessons.

  • Testing-Testing-1-2-3

    People who are comfortable with testing and retesting are better equipped for 21st Century STEM work. OST staff and volunteers can intentionally support the testing and retesting phase of science and engineering experiences to nurture this attitude in today’s youth. Learn the basics about testing during an inquiry experience and view examples of testing from OST settings. Try a simple STEM experience that staff can use to introduce the idea of testing variables to children.

    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset

    Learn More

  • Helping Learners Develop and Expand Explanations

    Out of school time (OST) programs provide school-age children with opportunities to play and explore. In this module facilitators learn how to maximize the value of these experiences by helping children to finish the learning process, developing and communicating the explanations about what they have discovered. Developing explanations is an important STEM skill, linked to the 21st century skills of critical thinking and communication.

    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset

    Learn More

  • Modeling Science & Engineering Processes

    Asking questions, trying ideas, and seeing how things work--that’s what scientific inquiry is all about. Out of school personnel support youth in this process by modeling these skills to the children in their care. Knowing that discoveries don’t usually happen in a linear order allows adults to meet children wherever their curiosity emerges and to guide them to deeper investigations. This module includes video examples and downloadable resources to equip the provider in this coaching role.

    Strategy: 
    Developing STEM Practices & Mindset

    Learn More

On-Demand Webinars

Click2Science hosts virtual professional development webinars each month focused on out-of-school time learning environments. STEM, professional development best practices, and other relevant events. All webinars are recorded and made available for on-demand viewing. The recorded, on-demand webinars below are designed to support the skill. Encouraging Collaboration. For more on-demand webinars or to register for an upcoming webinar, please visit our Webinar page.