Novel Engineeringprovides a unique way to get students excited about both reading and problem solving.Through a program developed at Tufts University, elementary and middle school students read a book, identify problems the characters face, and work in teams to design prototypes to solve the problems. Students test the prototypes and receive feedback from their teacher and peers before presenting their creations to their classmates.So far about 700 educators from around the country have been trained in the program, with teachers and librarians working together to implement it in some schools. The selected books present a variety of challenges for different ages. For instance, third graders reading Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret honed in on the problem that Hugo spends too much time winding the clock; he also has to figure out how to break into a dresser. The protagonist in Ezra Jack Keats’s Peter’s Chair doesn’t like having his stuff painted pink and has grown too big for his chair; first graders devise solutions. The website presents examples of books that some Novel Engineering classrooms have used. Clicking on the cover image displays the problems students identified and the solutions they designed and built.
Across the world, equity and accessibility have become two of the thorniest issues districts face as they continue to offer learning in remote and hybrid learning environments. In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, some states delayed online learning because they realized all students could not access it.
The NEA Foundation’s Envision Equity Grants provide educators across the nation with opportunities to lead an equity-focused reimagining of public education, encouraging students’ love of learning and the best possible educational experience for every child.
Registration for the 2021–2022 season is now open for all FIRST programs—preK–grade 12. Project-based, hands-on FIRST programs introduce students to engineering and coding in an engaging, inclusive, and creative classroom or afterschool learning environment where students work collaboratively to solve an annual robotics challenge.