Thursday, November 9, 2017

Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer {Homeschool Review Crew}

My youngest son is very much a kinesthetic, hands-on learner. When we were given the chance to review InnovatorsTribe, I was pleased to try it out. We received a 2-year subscription to Thinking Like an Engineer. We know a little about engineers already, since we lived with one for a few years (an electronics/broadcast engineer).
Thinking Like an Engineer
Innovators Tribe offers online courses for grades 6-12, which provide experience in applied math, science, innovation, design and construction. In fact, this course could provide a 1/4 credit for your high schooler.

The lessons consist of power point presentations, videos, hands-on challenge activities, design challenges, access to CAD (computer-aided design) software with instructions of how to use it. Your student will learn about what engineering is, some history, and what engineers do. There are numerous types of engineers. Your student will learn about fourteen, such as aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, electrical, environmental, nuclear, gaming, and sound & broadcast engineers.
Innovators Tribe What You Get
The challenge activities use supplies that are easy to get, such as printer paper and masking tape. Steven had to use these to make some sort of support, to hold a stack of books one inch off the surface, and to see how tall he could make the stack...or how much weight his supports could hold. The full stack of books weighed 61 pounds, he said.

His first stack crushed two of the supports, and spilled the whole stack. So he had to start over again.

One lesson that really impressed both of us was the one on engineering clean water. It's astounding to realize that about 1/6 of the world's population doesn't have clean, easily-accessible water. We watched a video that showed how a team of engineers built and installed a water filtering system at a school in Mexico.

There was also a narrated slide presentation, showing the importance of having safe, clean water, and the steps in creating a purifying system.

The design challenge for that lesson is for your student to make a water filtering system of his own. A list of supplies is provided. Steven says we a have source of water that needs filtering: the little fish pond on our back patio! But we don't have the sources of the different types of sand, etc., on hand yet. We'll have to work on collecting them.
Another topic covered is the fourteen grand engineering challenges, such as making solar energy affordable, providing energy from fusion, providing access to clean water, preventing nuclear terror, securing cyberspace, and engineering better medicines. Maybe Steven could become an engineer and help develop a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, which will make life much better for his sister.

I've been having Steven do only one lesson or challenge a week, so we've only gotten through the first segment, the Introduction to Engineering, which means we just got the software downloaded the other day. Looking ahead, I see we will be learning about the software, and how to use it. Also in the future, Steven will be designing roller coasters, and bridges. That sounds fun! 

I'm learning from this myself, as I go through it with Steven. I think my other three offspring ought to go through the course as well. I wonder if any of them can be persuaded. Ha!

Some of the Crew members were able to review Thinking Like an Architect (the one I was hoping Steven would get to do). Innovators Tribe also has Thinking Like a Carpenter coming soon. 

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Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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