Developing An Engineering Identity In Early Childhood

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Michelle Pantoya
Emily Hunt
Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz


Literacy, Kindergarten, Engineering Education Engineering, STEM, STEM Education, Creativity, Identity, Children’s Books


This project describes a strategy to introduce young children to engineering in a way that develops their engineering identity. The targeted age group is 3-7 year old students because they rarely experience purposeful engineering instruction. The curriculum was designed around an engineering storybook and included interactive academic discussions as well as a creative drawing activity. Results provide evidence that students developed an engineering identity based on their illustrations of themselves working as engineers. These findings lend support to the use of engineering-centered books to improve the impact of instructional strategies that emphasize the engineering design cycle. We show how both the curricular materials and the activities can work together to develop an engineering identity in this age group.


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