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Tales of Engineering – making magnificent things with children and their families …

After a few months of developing our website and getting our engineers to think about their research bookmarks (yes we have awesome bookmarks) we finally started taking our engineers into schools. One of the first visit we did was last wee, to a couple of schools in Darlington.

In the image below you can see Paula (right) and her most magnificent thing as imagined and built by children in a reception class.

Also last week, we took the Tales of Engineering project to this year’s Association For Science Education (ASE) Annual Conference at Reading University. This is one of the largest Science Education Conference of its kind and we were delighted to have engaged with teachers and practitioners, showcasing how storytelling can be used to talk positively about engineering with children in EYFS.

In the meantime we are keeping ourselves busy booking more schools and cultural venues visits, so keep checking our events calendar to see if we are going to be near you!

Tales of Engineering – Bacteria bombs and fashionable pirates

We are back from summer break and ready to engage!

Our valiant Tales of Engineering engineers gathered once again at NUSTEM HQ to learn and reflect about engaging with young children in the classroom. From bacteria bombs to sliding wardrobes, they tried to sell “snake oil” to pirates and fashion models as part of their public engagement training session, delivered by NUSTEM to support this project!

We also had time to start thinking about what materials the children will take home, and we came up with a really cool idea of bookmarks to signpost families and teachers to the resources which are going to feature here.

Stay tuned for our next meeting in November, when we’ll start to co-create Magnificent Things.

Tales of Engineering – Our first meeting

Ready… set … engineer!

Our first meeting for Tales of Engineering took place in July 2019 at Northumbria University, where a small group of engineers were generally terrified with the idea of reading to young children and becoming engineering ambassadors!

We had a good look through a few available engineering story books and decided to go with: The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires. We think it has an engaging plot, champions diversity in engineering, and it will be flexible enough so our engineers can work with children on their most magnificent things.

We’ll be back in September for another gathering, where we will find out how best to communicate our ideas to young people.

World Book Day

Today is World Book Day.  Across the country, schools will be celebrating books and reading.  Here at Think Physics we’re very keen to encourage reading too.

For our primary work with younger children, we’ve been looking for fiction books which feature science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM).  And if possible, a strong female main character.  We’ve found a few.  We’ve saved them onto a pinterest board for you to have a look at.

At secondary, we’d also like to be able to share fiction books which feature STEM with a strong female main character.  It’s a bit harder to do though.  For strong female main characters, there is of course, The Hunger Games trilogy with Katniss Everdene, but they’re not really STEM related.  I also find that, as an adult, some of the themes in young adult fiction are really gruesome or disturbing.  I’m not sure why that doesn’t seem to bother my children, but it doesn’t.  There are some young adult books which have a link to STEM, but in general, it’s far less central to the story.  There’s a useful list of books on the School Library Journal website, which gives some examples.

Finally, if you want to have a read of non-fiction popular science books, then have a browse through the shelves of the Science Teaching Library, curated by Alex Weatherall.  There are some great books on there suitable for the general reader.

If you have any recommendations, please do let us know.