Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thinking Like an Engineer (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

Do you have a kiddo who loves to know how things work? I have been looking over a program lately that I am considering using for an elective for my teenage son. It’s called Thinking Like an Engineer, from Innovator’s Tribe.

Thinking Like an Engineer

For the purpose of our review, I received a 2-year subscription of this online course. Innovator’s Tribe offer three different courses. They are Thinking Like an Architect, Thinking Like a Carpenter, and Thinking Like an Engineer.

Innovators Tribe What You Get
Thinking Like an Engineer is a self-paced course. It can be used with grades 6-12. It can be used with multiple children in a household. The lessons are easily accessed and include several hands-on activities. There are design challenges, building challenges and an exercise journal. There are no grades with this program…the journal helps keep the student accountable.

You can, of course, use this right alongside your student or point them towards the computer and let them go!

It can be used with a MAC or Windows. We have a PC with Windows 10 and use Google Chrome as our browser. All we needed was a Flash Plug-In (which are free) and a set of speakers.

In addition to the awesome lessons and interactive lessons, there is a FREE download of the design software. This is yours even after the course period has expired.  For High School students who want to use Thinking Like an Engineer as a credit, it counts for ¼ of a credit.

The Units for the course are:

Introduction to Engineering
Introduction to 3D Design (tools of modern design)
Engineering Rollercoasters!
Engineering Bridges
Nano Engineering (Discovery of a New World)
Thinking Like an Engineer - Course Conclusion

The course also comes with a syllabus so you can see firsthand is expected and what you will need for the duration.

So you know I like to show you what we see when we log on to our Innovator’s Tribe account.

For this review, I am going to share with you Lesson 2 from the Introduction to Engineering unit. 

First of all, I am showing you a portion of the sidebar that let's you move within the course and check on your student's progress. I love that each portion is given a time of completion. For some reason, I didn't get the shot of the little green checkmarks that show up when you've completed a part of each lesson. 

With each Unit there is a Unit Journal.

It is a printable PDF that let's your student reflect what he or she has learned with each lesson.
This lesson starts with a bit of introduction then a group of slides that the student clicks on once that slide is read. Obviously, this lesson is on the carrier of Engineering. 
 This lesson gives examples of different kinds of engineers, what they do AND their average pay grade.
 This slide didn't help me a bit. I have been trying to tell Josiah that his current career path of playing video games for a living just won't cut it. The Gaming Engineers don't earn as much as the Nuclear Engineers, but....
 For an activity this lesson has the student do a little personal research on the internet about other possible engineering careers.
 The link takes you to a printable that lines out all the instructions for that activity.
 Each lesson also has a hands-on Challenge Assignment. For this lesson, the student has to balance as many books as he or she can on a single piece of paper.
 There are specific instructions and guidelines with this one. We did have to cheat and look up some examples of other people doing this challenge.
All of the lessons follow pretty much the same formula...with varying degrees of difficulty. There is a roller coaster building challenge that Josiah is looking forward to. It is a paper roller coaster (with templates) that takes 5-6 hours! Josiah has already created interesting structures out of anything he can find. He's decides that while designing a roller coaster sounds like fun, he certainly doesn't want to ride one!

I'm with him on that! 

This is an awesome program. It is innovate, creative and perfect for those curious kids. I will say that because Josiah is dyslexic I had to participate more than I anticipated. It is relatively easy to navigate, but sometimes Josiah gets confused if there are too many steps or things to look at. He also would prefer an audio option for the reading, but I didn't think it was that bad. The reading is one slide at a time. 

The lessons are long enough to keep a teenagers attention and short enough  to keep a teenagers attention...if you know what I mean. The subject matter is interesting and the presentation is top-notch.  

This one is a win! 

Members of the Crew also reviewed Thinking Like an Architect. I can't wait to see what they thought...and I'm looking forward to getting a good look at Thinking Like an Carpenter. We have more experience with carpenters in our life so that one sounds like a fun one.

 Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. 

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

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