Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thinking Like an Engineer REVIEW

Thinking Like an Engineer
My Homeschool Review Crew year is coming to an end and what a way to end the year with a big bang.  Thinking Like an Engineer by Innovators Tribe is a fantastic program that sparks creativity and innovation into your children.  It is an online course for grades 6-12 that is very hands on.  If you have kids that are interested in all things STEM then this is the perfect program for you! You get online video course instructions, downloadable worksheets, links to other resources and FREE 3D Design software to use for your projects.

Innovators Tribe What You Get

Registering and signing on to this program is very easy.  Use your email and a password and you are ready to go.  Your dashboard will show what programs you have purchased and how far you are in each one.  The teacher, Mr. Kroeplin (Mr. K), is an award winning certified Technology and Engineering instructor who loves what he does (his energy in the videos is contagious!).  The course is self-paced so there are no deadlines or due dates for any of the challenges or lessons.  There is a total of about 30 hours of lessons (28 lessons plus challenge activities) and it can qualify as 1/4 High School credit.

Login instructions

Instructions on how to advance through the menus
FREE 3D Design software included
Advancing through the lessons is simple.  You are able to go back and review lessons and even mark them not completed if you choose.  It seems that you might not be able to go back, but you can.  If you have any children who are interested in engineering then you will not want to miss out on this program.  The introduction lesson stresses that even women play a huge role in engineering and have equal success in their careers.  This is not an actual "engineering" program but rather aims to teach our kids to "think" like an engineer.  That being said, the course leads kids to investigate and research what being an engineer is all about and what can be expected at different jobs that have to do with engineering.

Example of assignment that encourages more research

There is a course syllabus that includes a materials list (does not include the materials for the water filtration system) to download before you begin. The lessons are powerpoint video with the teacher overlayed at different times giving you further instruction or explaining things more. It is very fun and interactive and keeps your student interested in the material (not just a boring slide show!)  I just love how there are intermittent links to other sites for more information and further research.  There are even links to downloadable worksheets for more research on the topics on hand.  There are a total of 5 units covered:
  • Introduction to Engineering
  • Introduction to 3D Design (tools of modern design)
  • Engineering Roller Coasters
  • Engineering Bridges
  • Nano Engineering (Discovery of a New World)
Course Syllabus

Included list of materials

NOTE:  The [printable] Course Outline (Syllabus) does not match exactly with the online course outline.  The CAD sections appear to have been combined and lesson 3 seems to include what was once broken out into different lessons (lesson 3 is 120 minutes!).  Just note that until the syllabus is updated it does not match the headings of the online course exactly.

We are taking it slow as the first challenges really frustrated my son.  They are great and fun, but he gets frustrated when he can't solve things immediately.  The first challenge of building a tower of at least 5 ft. high with only 4 sheets of paper and 1 ft. of masking tape did not amuse him.  He thought he really likes engineering, but is realizing that he has to get over this frustration.  I like that there are plenty of other options right now in researching and learning more about engineering type activities.  We haven't tried the water purification challenge yet and I think that one will spur him on.  How cool is that?  Learning about and making something that will purify water!  Be aware that it is stressed in the course that your water will NOT be drinkable because the chemicals needed to purify the water are not used in this course. But you will get to see muddy, murky water turn crystal clear!

Failed tower attempts

The next unit up for us is the 3D Computer Design unit and I think he is going to love it!  We plan to get that started next week.  I will definitely complete this course with him to see just what he really thinks of engineering and I hope he sees how wide the field is and how cool it would be to work in it.

Innovators Tribe

With all it has to offer how could I not give this program an incredible thumbs up!  It really challenges your children to think through things and come up with solutions to problems.  It has been such a blessing to be able to review Thinking Like an Engineer from Innovators Tribe.

There is currently another program, Thinking Like an Architect that is also available through this vendor and they will soon have Thinking Like a Carpenter available.  The best part of all is the sale they are running right now.  The programs are 35% off through 11/11/17.  Regularly $149 each for a 1 year subscription, they are now ONLY $96/year. That's only 2 days away!  You just can't beat that, get it while it's on sale!

I encourage  you to click on the banner below and take the time to check out the other reviews on Thinking Like an Engineer and Thinking Like an Architect.

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

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