ODU Ed+gineering

The Origin Story…

“Engineering is so hard. It’s for the boys!”

This comment was made to Dr. Stacie Ringleb, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, by a female elementary education student who was babysitting her children. This all too common sentiment made us realize that engineering and education faculty have to work together if we want to broaden participation in engineering. From this distressing remark, Ed+gineering was born.

ODU Ed+gineering is a collaborative partnership between education and engineering students and faculty at Old Dominion University. The project partners more than 500 education and 300 engineering students to teach engineering lessons to over 1,600 elementary school students.

Ed+gineering is part of a national effort to broaden participation in engineering. It directly impacts hundreds of elementary students from populations underrepresented in engineering while building the infrastructure to ensure that thousands of more elementary school students will learn engineering in the future. It ensures that current engineering students have meaningful learning experiences that prepare them to work effectively across disciplines in order to develop innovative solutions to meet the needs of our diverse society.

See the below video of ODU undergraduate education and engineering students describing their participation in the Ed+gineering project.

  • By focusing on the practical and fundamental aspects of engineering as opposed to the technical aspects it becomes easier to successfully explain these concepts in a manner that someone unfamiliar with the technical side could grasp.

    Engineering Student - Male Participant - Collaboration 2

  • Having gone in with no experience with coding or engineering, but a great interest in it, I think it was really wonderful. It made it more approachable, and it broke it down in its components so that I could understand it. Yeah, I really enjoyed getting to know the engineering process and how it works.

    Education Student PreK6 - Female Participant - Collaboration 2

  • I loved the Ed+gineering Project, it changed my view on a lot of things. I was very intrigued at how much the students wanted to know about engineering topics and what they already did know. I think it influenced my perception in a good way and gave me a new look on it.

    Preservice Teacher - Male Participant - Collaboration 3

  • I will definitely integrate engineering and coding in my future classroom, I want my students to have experiences and exposure to anything that will help make them marketable adults, and technology isn’t going away, so not bring coding and engineering into the classroom isn’t preparing students for the world we live in.

    Education Student PreK6 - Female Participant - Collaboration 2

  • Overall, I have appreciated the experience of being able to learn about teaching and have the ability to create something for elementary schoolers to learn from. In the beginning I thought it was just extra work, but I see why it is done now.

    Engineering Student - Male Participant - Collaboration 3

  • I believe that students can very easily be excited by engineering, especially with hands-on projects. When students are engaged with hands-on activities, they are more likely to participate and retain information. Many students at the end of the lesson asked their teacher if she could teach them engineering in class.

    Education Student PreK6 - Female Participant - Collaboration 1

  • SO much more confident! I am excited to learn more and become more competent with coding so I can really help prepare my future students to live in a high-tech world.

    Education Student PreK6 - Female Participant - Collaboration 2

  • I would feel more comfortable teaching an engineering lesson in the future to elementary school because it essentially focuses on the engineering design process. I would love to do so because I would want my students to have fun and potentially have interest in becoming engineers in various fields.

    Education Student PreK6 - Female Participant - Collaboration 1

  • I think it (Wow Club) should be part of every curriculum. I’ve never seen my son so appreciative of learning.

    Wow Club Parent - Spring 2020