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It’s National Engineering Week! As the STEM coordinator at Erie Elementary, I wanted to highlight different aspects of the Engineering Process in an effort to show how engineering (not just building) is part of our teacher's everyday skill set. All of us engineer more than we realize!
Good humans have empathy. Did you know that good engineers also have empathy?
In the D School Model of the Engineering Process, the first step in design thinking is to Empathize. (The above link will take you to a tutorial on design thinking project called "Gift Giving.") To put it simply, you, as the engineer, need to empathize, understand, and really look at the customer's needs and wants before you can attempt to solve their problems.
Josh Lemon, a friend of mine and fellow STEM coordinator in SVVSD, forwarded me the following awesome resource on empathy:
Here is a great website one of my teachers passed on to me.
There's a thought provoking video on the importance of empathy here.
And some more videos on the basics of empathy under the How tab called Empathy 101.
I explored some of the site and really like the videos and some of the very classroom-ready exercises in the Start Empathy Toolkit.
I know you already do much of this! But I wanted to show you how you are not only setting up a culture of good humans, but you are preparing your students to think like engineers when they are able to empathize with their classmates. It's powerful.
Thanks for all you do! :)