Giving Compass' Take:

• Getting Smart discusses The Next Generation Science Standards program — tools developed to encourage engineering design in schools — and how its methods can be applied to general STEM learning.

• In what ways might education funders support more makerspaces and practical problem-solving in the classroom environment? 

Here's how science and engineering can help our education system evolve.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrate engineering design into every grade level from kindergarten through 12th grade. Engineering design is an iterative process in which students learn by attempting to solve a problem. If they fail, they take what they learned and try again. This requires them to take intellectual and creative risks, which can seem scary at first.

Teachers, too, can experience anxiety and lack confidence. Even though most elementary and middle school teachers don’t have backgrounds or training in engineering, they are responsible for educating and inspiring the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals.

Here are six ways to help students — and teachers — overcome a fear of failure and learn to love engineering design:

  1. Think different(ly).
  2. Develop a clear understanding of the process.
  3. Transform the classroom into an authentic makerspace.
  4. Create a positive environment.
  5. Create cross-curricular connections.
  6. Solving problems now — and into the future.

Read the full article about embracing engineering in schools by Reid Whitaker at Getting Smart.