Primary teachers to be taught engineering curriculum

The national science and technology centre, Questacon, has partnered with the Museum of Science in Boston to present professional development workshops on engineering along with resource kits to 1000 primary school teachers across Australia.
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Primary teachers to be taught engineering curriculum

The national science and technology centre, Questacon, has partnered with the Museum of Science in Boston to present professional development workshops on engineering along with resource kits to 1000 primary school teachers across Australia.

The Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum, developed by the EiE team at the Boston museum, is aligned to Australian Curriculum Learning Areas and will be rolled out over the next three years through Questacon in Canberra. It is supported by funding from the Australian Defence Force.

The program presents a research-based, hands-on engineering curriculum designed to create a generation of problem-solvers, according to the EiE team. It introduces learners to the engineering design process to build a strong foundation of critical thinking and inspiration to solve real-world STEM challenges.

A thousand teachers from up to 500 schools from across Australia will have access to professional development workshops and receive resource kits while schools will be able to invite engineers into the classroom and give young engineering learners an 'holistic educational experience'.

Professor Graham Durant, director of Questacon said Australia's future as a knowledge economy depends on emerging generations being engaged with foundation STEM skills.

"Students benefitting from this program will start high school with an understanding of how engineering can solve problems and [they will] hopefully consider engineering as a possible career path," he said.

Annette Sawyer, Vice President of the Education Division at the Museum of Science, Boston, said she hoped to see the adoption of EiE curricula in more school systems, "introducing more students to engineering at this critical age”.

The Museum of Science in Boston is one of the world's largest science centres while Questacon and its programs are administered within the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Its remit is to "engage, connect and inspire Australians in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics", with its 500,000 visitors annually and a further 600,000 people in rural and remote Australia.

The first phase of the implementation of Engineering is Elementary commenced in September, with the official launched planned for early 2020.