On June 7-9, 2016 three Professors from Minnesota State University, Mankato presented a workshop for teachers in Madelia, Minnesota on engineering concepts to help expose them to the fundamentals of engineering so they are better prepared to teach the Minnesota Science Standards that now include engineering outcomes.
During the workshop participants learned about about a variety of concepts. Dr. Patrick Tebbe introduced them to engineering design using Legos to build a construction vehicle. He also had participants reverse engineer a toaster (AKA – deconstructing a toaster!!!) learning how it actually works as well as learning about modification to meet performance specifications by building towers using spaghetti and marshmallows. Dr. Winston Sealy provided participants background on electricity and circuits through hands-on activities using Snap Circuits kits. Lastly, Dr. Jeff Pribyl assisted participants in one of the most critical parts of the workshop, helping participants use what they learned from the engineering professors and develop curriculum that they could use in their own classroom that was age appropriate and meets the Minnesota Science Standards.
Participants also got to get out of the classroom and see engineering at work and toured Poet Biorefining in Lake Crystal as well as ST-Industries in St. James.