It’s never too soon to introduce awesome STEM or engineering vocabulary to kiddos of all ages. In fact, kids have a lot of fun learning, exploring, and even saying big words. Don’t underestimate the power of a young mind. You’re definitely going to want to incorporate these simple engineering terms into your next STEM time! Think like an engineer!
SIMPLE ENGINEERING TERMS FOR KIDS
ENGINEERING FOR KIDS
Engineering is all about designing and building machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles etc. Engineers take scientific principals and make things that are useful for people.
Like other areas of STEM, engineering is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that a good engineering challenge will involve some science and math too!
How does this work? You might not always know the answer to that question! However, what you can do is provide learning opportunities to get your kids started with the engineering design process of planning, designing, building and reflecting.
Engineering is good for kids! Whether it be in the successes or learning through failures, engineering projects push kids to expand their horizons, experiment, problem-solve, and embrace failure as a means to success.
Check out these fun engineering activities…
ENGINEERING VOCABULARY FOR KIDS
You can use this fantastic list of engineering STEM words to really get your STEM-ists thinking! Including the language of an engineer will also help to develop critical thinking skills and “out of the box” thinking while including important ELA skills!
Make sure to grab the FREE Vocabulary List Printable and hang it somewhere handy for everyone to practice during your next engineering challenge!
Brainstorm: to think about many ideas when solving a problem.
Criteria: things the design needs to do in order to be successful–its requirements.
Constraints: the limitations on the design.
Create: to make something.
Discuss: to talk together to share your ideas. Use our Questions for Reflection to get started.
Engineer: a person who solves problems. Learn more about what is an engineer.
Improve: make changes to have a better design.
Model: miniature or simplified version of your design.
Persist: to continue doing something even when its difficult.
Persevere: to keep doing something even when there is no guarantee you will be successful.
Plan: a drawing or outline of possible solution(s).
Problem: something that can be solved.
Prototype: the first design of a solution.
STEM: a curriculum based on the notion of integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics into an interdisciplinary and applied approach based on real-world applications.
Scientist: a person who seeks to acquire knowledge about the natural world. Learn more about what is a scientist.
Science: a system of studying, testing, and experimenting on things in nature or a search for general laws about how the world works.
Share: to allow others to learn from your ideas or work.
Solution: the act or process of solving a problem.
Technology: objects designed and used to solve problems. Technology does not only refer to electronic devices. It includes everyday items that are used for purposes such as flip flops and high heels, rocking chairs, and bean bags.
Test: a way to discover if your solution works.
ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS
Engineers often follow a design process. There are different design processes but each one includes the same basic steps to identify and solve problems.
An example of the process is “ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve”. This process is flexible and may be completed in any order. Learn more about the Engineering Design Process.
ENGINEERING BOOKS FOR KIDS
Sometimes the best way to introduce STEM is through a colorfully illustrated book with characters your kids can relate to! Check out this fantastic list of engineering books that are teacher approved and get ready to spark curiosity and exploration!
WHAT IS AN ENGINEER
Think like an engineer! Engineers want to know how and why things work, and apply that knowledge to solve practical problems. Find out what makes engineers similar and different to scientists. Read What Is An Engineer.
FUN ENGINEERING PROJECTS TO TRY
Don’t just read about engineering, go ahead and try one of these 12 fantastic engineering projects! Each one has printable instructions to help you get started.
There are two ways you can go about it. Follow the step-by-step instructions if you need more guidance. Alternatively, present the engineering theme as a challenge and see what your kiddos come up with as a solution!
MORE STEM PROJECTS FOR KIDS
Engineering is one part of STEM, click on the image below or on the link for tons more awesome STEM activities for kids.