I came across this interesting article in the WSJ: Reading, Writing and Engineering about an engineering program that is being taught at the elementary school level. The "…effort is being spurred, in part, by concerns that in math and science, American students are falling behind other countries — particularly such industrial competitors as Japan and South Korea."
The program focuses on getting kids to practice real world theory – making play-doh in a "scientific fashion" as opposed to teaching theory. The article focuses on the corporate sponsorship (or self-interest) aspect of it and says that proponents are awaiting a release of a study this year to assess the impact of teaching engineering using these different methods.
I wonder if the making play-doh really does equate to a higher interest in chemical engineering, or does it just wind up as "The time we got to make play-doh in class."
Any teachers or parents out there who have experience in a hands on science teaching program and the impact,if any, it had on the kids?