EiE Curriculum Reaches 10 Million Students
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
The Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum is celebrating a meaningful landmark. The award-winning engineering curriculum for students in grades 1 – 5 has now reached 10 million students.
EiE has come a long way since 2004, when a team of curriculum developers at the Museum of Science, Boston invited eight Boston-area teachers to pilot-test a novel curriculum module with their students. During that first test, a total of 200 children got a chance to try their hand at engineering a sturdy bridge, or making sticky, strong mortar for a stone wall.
In 2007 the project released two completed EiE curriculum units, Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills and Water, Water Everywhere: Designing Water Filters. By 2011, all 20 units were complete, and use of the curriculum has seen exponential growth in reach ever since—making EiE the nation’s largest elementary engineering curriculum.
Schools that teach with EiE can be found in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia; they include public schools, private schools, charter schools, military schools, and home schools. More than 100,000 elementary teachers have taught EiE lessons; 18,000 teachers have attended EiE-led professional development workshops; and many more have attended workshops facilitated by the hundreds of EiE professional development collaborators who are distributed across the country.
More important than the numbers are the results. A research-based curriculum, EiE helps schools meet the expectations of the new Next Generation Science Standards, which place unprecedented emphasis on integrating engineering with K-12 science education. EiE helps ALL students learn science and engineering effectively, and it is notably effective for students from populations historically underrepresented in STEM careers, including blacks, Hispanics, and girls. And students who learn with EiE show improved attitudes toward science and engineering as fields of study and as future careers.
The EiE project continues to grow. Over the next three years, EiE will expand its afterschool offerings, launch a PreK-K engineering curriculum, report on the findings from a major, NSF-funded efficacy research study, continue to grow its network of professional development providers, grow its menu of professional development resources, and support elementary teachers nationwide through scholarships and online resources.