Thinking Like an Engineer ~ REVIEW

I knew pretty early on that my kids would be doing something with computers and so far I'm right with Skylar and Mahala.  And here comes young Kaden grabbing his spot in the Engineering world, just like Dad.  We have been using an online course called Thinking Like an Engineer from Innovators Tribe.  They also offer a course about Architecture too that Mahala is extremely interested in.  Both programs are geared towards kids in grades 6th and up. 
Honestly this was the most anticipated review item me have ever had in our home.  Both Mahala and Kaden were chomping at the bit to get started on this course right away.  I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but figured it's self paced I should be able to handle it. :)

So, what did we get?  Everything needed to complete the course, including the 3D CAD Design Software that will be needed later in the course.  The syllabus and quick login made this course very simple to get started.  Being a newbie to all things Engineer-wise I read through the syllabus....three times.  If we can successfully use this program, you can too...trust me!  The course is divided into 6 main Units.

Introduction to Engineering
Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
Engineering Rollercoasters
Engineering Bridges
3D Computer Design

And each Unit has 4-11 lessons along with Design Challenges and Activities.  So far honestly we have taken it slow, it's a self paced program and we are relishing in that.  Some things Kaden takes super serious and this has been one of them.  He is the main one doing the program because Mahala is so focused trying to finish her Senior year, so in order to keep him from being overwhelmed we are taking it slow.  The very first question out of Kaden's mouth was, " what is an Engineer... and what exactly do they do?"  Do you hear the crickets in the background like we did?  Luckily for us  the very first lesson cleared it all up!  And it actually sealed the deal that yes, Kaden is and will be a Engineer.  Why?  Because they are people who use Math and Science to figure out problems.  That is his life verse.  I love how the videos work....important words are brightly colored and the wording is conversational, but right to the point.  The videos are alternated with slide shows and seem to keep Kaden on point as far as staying focused.

The challenges and activities have been outstanding for him.  I have never seen him stretch his thinking so much.  And he has even went out on his own and created things based on what he is learning in the course.  One lesson in particular that I think left an impression on his heart was the challenge to make a water filter.  (why I have no picture of this process is beyond me)  Having Autism causes him difficulty in sharing emotions and empathy for others.  But, learning about the crisis of not having clean water was profound for him.  He was anxious to get started on his filter.  We are still working on it though, but to see his passion was beautiful and he is fully committed to keep working.
Another thing that impressed me is the way Mr. K engages the students and offers them an invitation to explore and learn.  One of our favorite lessons was the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges in the world.  Wow, Kaden was so locked in and focused because Mr. K said maybe one of these challenges may interest you.   These type of open door teaching experiences is what homeschooling is all about, right?  Kaden literally took notes....this boy was Inspired... his flame was lite! :)

We still have so much more to go through on the course.  But, I will tell you that this course checks all our boxes.  It combines Math and Science in a way that gets Kaden engaged and interactive.  I love it and would recommend it to any family that has high school students interested in the world of Engineering.  As far as kids on the Autism Spectrum, I personally think it would work if your child is at an education level of 6th grade or higher.  As far as sensory-wise... the dashboard is simple, the instructions are easy to read and the format is great because the sidebar can be minimized.  Not to mention it is self paced, 18 months is a long time to get through this course which is about 30 hours.  For Kaden he is doing about 2 lessons a week, mainly because his hands on time takes longer.


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Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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