A Parent's Guide: Hey Mom, I Want To Be An Engineer! (page 3)

— National Education Association
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

Activities to do together

  1. Build a boat that floats. Give your child equal-sized pieces of tin foil, wrapping paper, and paper. Tell her the objective is to design and build a boat that can hold nine objects (marbles, pebbles, paper clips) for 10 minutes or to design and build a boat that can hold the most objects without sinking. Do this many times, allowing your child to improve her design.
  2. “Reverse Engineer.” Select an item that is used regularly in your home (hair dryer, toaster, or television) and determine what and how many parts and materials are in it. Research where the materials came from (i.e., locations of the raw materials), determine how to best dispose of the materials (i.e., what can be recycled, re-used, etc.), or figure out how to manufacture the item using automated equipment.

What references are available to help me support my child’s interest in technology?

Web sites

  • Awareness Campaigns for Technology (A.C.T.) /
  • Invent Now /
  • NASA /
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers /
  • Society ofWomen Engineers (SWE)
  • Technology for All Americans Project /
  • The International Technology Education Association /
  • National Center of Technological Literacy /
  • National Education Association /
  • National Society of Black Engineers /


  • Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) /
  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh /
  • Cranbrook Institute of Science /
  • Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception /
  • Museum of Science, Boston /
  • Museum of Science & Industry /
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation /
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry /
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