Wednesday, November 8, 2017

STEM for Your Homeschool: Thinking Like an Engineer by Innovators Tribe {Review}

We've got Math, English, Geography, and History covered in our homeschool curriculum.  We do Science as well but it has been hard to find good STEM curriculum to challenge my children's "tinkering" natures.  We have been trying out a new program I discovered called Thinking Like an Engineer from Innovators Tribe.  It is a well-designed online course that provides interactive hands-on lessons and activities in science, technology, engineering, and math.  We have used the course for a few weeks but I've also looked ahead at the material to be covered in future lessons.  Nicholas and Rachel are having fun with the course and I'm excited to share this review with you.



Thinking Like an Engineer combines its own videos with videos from outside sources as well as hands-on activities for students to complete on their own.  The course is intended for students in grades 6-12 and it can be completed independently without much teacher prep, except when you might need to help them locate a few household supplies for their challenge activities.


Thinking Like an Engineer

The course begins with an Introduction to Engineering where students learn about different types of engineers, the challenge of engineering clean water, and the grand challenges of the world.  They worked on several challenges including the Tower Challenge.  


The challenge was to build a tower as tall as you possibly could with just four sheets of paper and one foot of masking tape.  My kids each built their own towers but it was fun to see them give each other pointers or brainstorm ideas together on ways to make the towers better.


The next section of the course is an Introduction to 3D Design.  Here is where we got to download a CAD program called Autodesk 123D Design!  It is a really cool program and the tutorials for the software are easy to understand.  Students will learn how to design a car rim in CAD!


The additional challenges in this section of the course include designing a piece of furniture in Autodesk 123D Design as well as designing an improvement on some regular household item like a stapler.  My kids love this kind of challenge!  Sometimes their ideas are crazy but other times they are quite amazing.

Next the course teaches about Mechanical Engineering and how to build rollercoasters.  This section has a really impressive challenge that includes students building their own rollercoaster with downloadable paper roller coaster tracks!

The course also covers engineering bridges and comes with a Bridge Construction software that students can download and use to design their own bridges.


There are just so many cool challenges in this program that innovative kids can't help but have fun with it.  In addition to the videos, software downloads, and hands-on challenges, the course also provides students with lots of book recommendations and additional video links to explore their areas of interest further.

Thinking Like an Engineer does not provide grades for students.  I'm having as much fun as my kids as we work through the course together and since I'm right there I know first-hand how they are each progressing through the material.  I could assign grades for them if I wanted to.  However, the course does include a Course Journal that you can have students complete to give some accountability.  

Innovators Tribe

The company that makes this course is called Innovators Tribe.  Their current products include Thinking Like an Engineer and Thinking Like an Architect.  They are currently working on a new course called Thinking Like a Carpenter which will be available soon.


Thinking Like an Engineer costs $149 for 18 months of online access.  However, you will also have access to several different kinds of software to download during the course and you get to keep these programs even after the course has been completed so your children can continue to use them and learn as they go.  PLUS, go to the Innovators Tribe website right now and snatch up 35% savings on any course.  Thinking Like an Engineer is usually $149 but it is only $96 with this sale price.  But this offer ends on 11/11/17 so hurry!

If you would like to read more reviews on Thinking Like an Engineer or for reviews on Thinking Like an Architect, just click on the banner below:

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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