In all my years of homeschooling there has not been a program we have encountered that has engaged my kids more in science. Not just got them excited about science but to a point where they were actively involved in the experiments with a passion for seeing them succeed. This program is Thinking Like an Engineer by Innovators Tribe. So let’s dive into what this amazing program is and see if it is the right fit for your family.
Just like the title says, this online course is designed to get your kid thinking like an engineer, i.e being a problem solver. This is done by introducing them to what engineering is to learning about different engineers and the problems they are trying to solve around the world. The kids get to dive into what they are learning about with lots of hands on projects.
What are these projects you ask?
How about making a tower that is 5 feet tall using only 4 sheets of printer paper and 1 foot of masking tape. Impossible you say? My kids thought so too…that is until they started problem solving. It can be done.
How many books can you stack at least 1 inch high off the ground using only 1 piece of printer paper and 2 feet of masking tape?
Build a working water filter.
Use the provided 3D software to build a car rim.
Build a working gear box out of paper.
Build a working roller coaster out of paper.
Construct a suspension bridge.
Now don’t think that all your kids will be doing is working on projects. On the contrary there are many lessons, videos and worksheet comprehension questions, that take place before tackling each project. By the time the project comes around the kids are ready to take on such challenges with excitement.
How we used this program
My two younger kids took on this course. They are in 6th and 4th grade. Innovators Tribe recommends this course for 6th – 12th graders, however my 4th grader did great with this program, along with my 6th grader. Part of the reason I’m sure is that our youngest LOVES science of any kind. The second is how we used this program.
This program is set up to be able to go through at each child’s pace, on their own. The classroom set up is very easy to use with lots of visual cues to guide each kid through the program. Even with this program being very well put together for the kids to work through on their own, we did not do that.
Knowing I had a younger kiddo interested in this program I was going to work through it with him and have my older child work through it on his own, but he did not want to do that. Given that he already does a bunch of schooling on his own he really wanted time to connect with us. So, I hooked my laptop up to our tv and we all sat down and worked through the program together. When it was time to complete the worksheets my oldest would work on it on his own and I would work one on one with my 4th grader. Because there was plenty of explanation before diving into the worksheets, when we did get to them he was easily able to complete them, with some guidance from me. When it was time to work on a project my two boys worked together trying to figure out solutions.
While we have not fully completed this program yet I did go through the upcoming material. I can say that while my kids have had a blast so far with this program, there are so many more exciting projects to come that I know they will LOVE continueing with this class. Not only that, but I truely do believe that they will no longer look at problems the same ever again. They are becoming great problem solvers and maybe, just maybe…engineers down the road of life.