Discover engineering!

TechXcite-Discover Engineering! programs offer children out of classroom opportunities to learn about engineering.

Expand your child’s experiences of science and technology by involving them in after school programs focused around these topics. Programs outside of the regular school day will help your child to reinforce what they are learning in school, allow for more “hands-on” learning experiences, and allow them additional interaction with their peers. If your child lacks interest in science, an “out of classroom” experience may be the “spark” that helps them become more interested. Or, if your child naturally has an interest or is curious about science, these experiences can pose additional challenges for them to investigate and solve.

National 4-H has partnered with Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering TechXcite-Discover Engineering! project which involves curriculum development. According to Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, the TechXcite curriculum offers a rich and vibrant exploration of engineering, mathematics, science and technology and is centered on seven themes. The curriculum is being developed as part of a National Science Foundation sponsored program. It is being used in 4-H supported after school programs across the nation.

Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H youth development programs are involved in this partnership. Currently, close to 30 pilot sites are active across Michigan. Learning modules in Michigan currently include: Bionic arm, rainwater harvesting and quest for speed. Additional modules are: Bioimaging, wireless burglar alarm, youth TV remote, solar cars and solar oven. Each module contains a series of four to six activities that build upon each other. Activities are designed for middle school aged youth, yet they can be adapted to suit 9- to 19-year-olds.

Consider becoming an instructor for one of the modules. That way, you can learn right along with your child. These activities can take place within a club or group setting, or in partnership with another group or organization, for example, an after school program at a community library or school. Completion of a module takes a total of five to seven hours; this is usually spread over a series of weeks. Check out MSU Extension’s event page to see if there are TechXcite programs available near you.

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