The Ready, Set, Go! Engineering project was a collaboration between the University of Notre Dame, Metropolitan Family Service (MFS), and the Center for Equitable Family STEM Learning at TERC. Beginning in 2019, the project was intended to explore how families engage in engineering through MFS’s family engagement program in classroom-based early childhood learning spaces. However, with the global health pandemic, the focus of the project shifted to the home learning environment. Fifteen Spanish- and English-speaking families from MFS’s early childhood program participated in three cycles of design-based research to develop and test a series of engineering activities. Through this process, the team also identified design principles to support engineering engagement for families with preschool-age children (3 to 5 years).
In 2022, the project team extended the work back into the classroom. During the 2022–23 school year, the team completed case studies with two MFS early childhood sites and conducted professional development workshops to collaboratively explore the process of integrating engineering activities into MFS’s early childhood family engagement classrooms. The resources and publications below reflect the shared learning that emerged from this ongoing partnership between researchers, educators, and families.
The following resources developed through the project can help educators and families explore engineering with young children.
This guide was created in partnership with Metropolitan Family Service and was designed specifically to help MFS educators integrate engineering into their Ready, Set, Go! early childhood engineering program.
This webpage highlights connections between engineering and everyday problem solving and includes an introductory video to engineering in Spanish, English, and Arabic. It is part of the broader Head Start on Engineering project website, which features free activities and resources for educators and families.
For additional publications, visit the Center for Equitable Family STEM Learning publication page.
Wagner, C., Svarovsky, G. N., Lettau, M., Marfo, K., Lorena Ortiz, A., Ryan, D., Pattison, S. A., Ramos Montañez, S., López Burgos, V., De Los Santos, S., Quijano, M., & Corbett, A. (2023, June). Exploring the nature of engineering during home-based engineering activities designed for Spanish- and English-speaking families with young children. 2023 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD. https://nemo.asee.org/public/conferences/327/papers/37959/view
Pattison, S. A., Svarovsky, G. N., Ramos Montañez, S., Wagner, C., López Burgos, V., Corbett, A., Quijano, M., Contreras, D., De Los Santos, S., & Perdomo, M. E. (2023). Playful engineering: Discovering the unique potential of engineering with young children and their families. Hands On! Magazine, Fall, 5–10. https://blog.terc.edu/playful-engineering
Pattison, S. A., Svarovsky, G. N., Corbett, A., Perdomo, M. E., Ramos Montañez, S., Wagner, C., López Burgos, V., & De Los Santos, S. (2022, April). Playful materials catalyze imaginative play and shift the nature of engineering design for preschool-age children and their families [Poster]. Society for Research in Child Development: Learning through Play and Imagination, St Louis, MO. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.19143.16803
Pattison, S. A., Svarovsky, G. N., Ramos Montañez, S., Wagner, C., Corbett, A., Perdomo, M. E., López Burgos, V., & De Los Santos, S. (2022, March). Activity design principles that support family-based engineering learning in early childhood. NARST Annual International Conference, Vancouver, BC. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/360079545_Activity_Design_Principles_that_Support_Family-Based_Engineering_Learning_in_Early_Childhood