Inquiry-Based Pre-Engineering Activities for K-4 Students

  • Michele Perrin


This paper uses inquiry-based learning to introduce primary students to the concepts and terminology found in four introductory engineering courses: Differential Equations, Circuit Analysis, Thermodynamics, and Dynamics. Simple electronic sensors coupled with everyday objects, such as a troll doll, demonstrate and reinforce the physical principles of motion, light, heat, and electricity through hands-on manipulation, data collection, and graphical analysis. This computerized method shields young students from complex mathematics allowing them to focus on engineering principles and applications. By introducing such concepts at an early age, these activities provide a foundation for science appreciation and a basis for success in college.