Introducing Young Children to Engineering Through Early STEM Literacy

Emily Hunt, Michelle Pantoya, A. S. Reeves

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In this study, we focused on children from 2-8 years of age and asked the simple question: what do engineers do? The number one response was: “I don’t know”, the number two response was “they drive a train”. While children are very familiar with professionals such as doctors, teachers, nurses, firefighters and policemen, they are rarely introduced to engineers. With this motivation, we developed a young children’s book on engineering: Engineering Elephants. The goal was to encourage analytical thinking skills by speaking the language of science to children – asking questions – and engage them with a lyrical pattern to help anticipate what will be next. Every other page asks questions like “do engineers make elephants?” The feedback has been an overwhelming success because children love to yell “no!” in response to things engineers do not make. This engaging style keeps students’ attention while at the same time introducing vocabulary such as “forces”, “momentum”, and “nanofibers” and
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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