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It's National Engineering Week. As the STEM Coordinator at Erie Elementary, I wanted to highlight different aspect of the Engineering Process in an effort to show how engineering is not just building. It is a part of our teachers' everyday skill set. All of us engineer more than we realize!
Engineering and Dadisms
I swear my dad took the how-to-speak-dad class! I got lectured in all the classic "dadisms." I lived in a pigpen. I expected money to grow on trees. I never acted my age. I was sure to jump off a bridge after some friend. You know. The usual.
BUT the very best, my most favorite, Dad saying is "Do your best... and a little bit better." I used to roll my eyes at that! (and I was a master eye-roller!) How's it possible to do better than my best?!?!
I eventually figured it out (along with the money tree) and now I'd like to think it is ingrained in me - part of who I am.
"... and a little bit better" is a big part of engineering. Most engineering is small, incremental improvements. Of course, some engineering requires completely new, innovative problem solving. But if you ask an engineer (I did), they'd probably say that most successes in engineering come from enhancements to existing materials/solutions. And these renovations are often baby-steps.... even a small improvement is "a little bit better."
Think about what you do in your classroom everyday. If you're like me, you're constantly thinking, "How could what I'm doing be better?" Not all kids think like that. It's a skill that needs to be practiced to learn. Thus, when we give students opportunities to make revisions, improve their work, retake quizzes, etc., we foster the engineer in them - we cultivate their little bit betters.