Message from the Librarian: “make it pretty”

newsletter image (librarian message)
newsletter image 2 (librarian message)

By Sandy Schoen, EIR Librarian, regarding a submission to the EIR Lesson Library:

“We're engineers. Getting it done, safely, reliably, on time, is more important than making it look pretty.”

These words from Sandy Schoen, our Lesson Library librarian, reminded me that although we EIR’s are engineers, our students and teaching partners are not.  In fact, odds are that only a few of the students in our classes will relate to or respond to a black and white, no nonsense approach.

We are in the classroom to engage as many students as possible, and to make engineering activities as approachable and interesting as possible.  This requires meeting the students where they are.  To appeal to a wide audience

“Making it look pretty” is important!

Provide colourful materials or opportunities to decorate the projects.

Stickers!  Everyone loves stickers, and giving groups a choice of stickers to identify their work will help you keep track of which groups you have checked in so no one gets missed.

For example, you can use plain plastic eggs for many activities -- egg dropping, bouncing, balancing etc.

However, for many students, the activity will be much more fun and memorable if they turn their eggs into bunnies or other characters.  Those with dexterity issues or limited fine motor skills may be happier sticking on an identification number, and skipping the ears and eyes. Some creative students will want their egg to have a name instead of a number.

And it’s not just for fun and games!

Playing -- handling their creations and talking about them -- helps the students retain the engineering concept they are working on.

So, have fun, and Make it look Pretty!

From Bev Takaoka, P. Eng.


Library updates

We've started separating the External Resources lesson into curriculum units, and adding links to specific lessons. This should make it easier to find the lessons you need Right Now.

  • Added (Kids Code Jeunesse), Canada Learning Code
  • New Lesson, including Inksmith Climate Action Kits
Programming and Computers, External Resources
  • New Lesson, including Microbits, Kids Code Jeunesse, Canada Learning Code, Scratch and ScratchJr
  • Many thanks to Don Ball for collecting such a great list!
EIR Year End Reflections - May 2022, Bev Takaoka
  • New Lesson
  • Added comments from Bob about building your own from plywood (under Equipment)
  • Added comments by Sean Greene, including milk carton model for locks and the PDF he used for the lesson (under Leader Instructions).
  • New Lesson by Bob Thomas
  • Added Don has sand, different sizes for filters
Link to Lesson Library:

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