Date of this Version
Cannon, E. 2022. Design of a Week-Long Introduction to Engineering Summer Camp to Increase Interest and Eagerness of STEM in Young Children. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
For this creative project, a one-week camp curriculum was designed for elementary students (Grades 3-5) to introduce engineering. This work includes a rationale and camp curriculum. The rationale describes the research-based design of the curriculum. It outlines engineering basics and why and how to teach engineering to young students. The curriculum intends to introduce engineering to young children and excite the possibility of a future career. The following engineering disciplines are presented throughout the week of camp: mechanical, environmental, civil, electrical, and chemical. The first day of camp focuses on the basics of engineering. Following that, each day of camp focuses on a different discipline of engineering, and on the final day, the engineering design concept is explored. The club curriculum includes daily objectives, materials, and activities. Each day discipline-specific information will be taught and then practiced by the campers through participation in daily group or individual activities or mini-projects. These activities encourage campers to apply new knowledge and broaden their teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving skills. After each activity, campers will be asked to reflect on the activity that day and talk about what they learned from the hands-on experience. The curriculum primarily focuses on hands-on activities to facilitate student engagement and learning and emulate an engineer’s life.