Help Your Students Fail “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ~Thomas Edison “The only real mistake is the one from whic


Help Your Students Fail

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ~Thomas Edison

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” ~John Powell

“Fail often to succeed sooner.” ~IDEO

Failure can be instructive, but we often try to shelter children from it. If, instead, we can teach them to take failure in stride and use its lessons to improve their next effort, we'll prepare them to be resilient, flexible, creative adults.

Of course, some failures might be best avoided

On this 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, we might pause to remember the self-destruction of the Tacoma Narrows bridge on a windy day in 1940, just five months after it was completed. That failure certainly taught valuable lessons about bridge aerodynamics that engineers now routinely apply in every successful design. Rather a costly lesson, however.


Failure? Improve! (1:05)

Productive Response to Failure: Improve

Watch this video to see students respond flexibly and creatively to a failure. It's great to hear one specifically refer to the improve step of the engineering design process.

See many more videos in our EiE Educator Resources. Sign up for a free account and start exploring!


Val's Hack

Our Resident MacGyver Shares Tips and Tricks

Are you having a hard time finding oil-based food coloring for A Slick Solution: Cleaning an Oil Spill? No worries! You can make an alternate material with ingredients you can find in your pantry. How? Fill a resealable container like a soda bottle or screw top jar with vegetable oil and add 1-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Seal the container and shake the ingredients together until they are completely mixed and appear a dark brown or black color. Add more cocoa powder if necessary.

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EiE Is Proud to be a Featured Program of Change the Equation

With a mission to foster widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that sparks an innovative spirit in students and prepares them for postsecondary options, Change the Equation has chosen just seven programs to feature.

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“When teachers learn, students learn.”

An Interview with ASSET STEM Education's Sharon Beddard Hess

ASSET STEM Education is a Pittsburgh-based education improvement nonprofit dedicated to boosting student achievement through highly effective educator professional development aligned with hands-on, minds-on educational materials.

ASSET is a key hub in EiE’s growing network of professional development partners.

ASSET’s Professional Development Director Sharon Beddard Hess contacted EiE when the organization was seeking to integrate engineering into its program. “EiE gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in science and math,” she said. “It allows them the opportunity to be problem solvers, to be more independent thinkers, and to think out of the box.”

Hess spoke with us about the partnership and the role of EiE in STEM education. Read the interview here.


Upcoming PD Opportunities

At the Museum of Science, Boston

Everyone Engineers!

A 2-day hands-on workshop designed to introduce educators to the EiE program and its materials.
* August 9-10, 2012
* November 8-9, 2012
* April, 2013

Teacher Educator Institutes

Our intensive three-day trainings for educators who want to provide EiE professional development to other teachers.
* October 24-26, 2012
* December 5-7, 2012


Help Build Our Learning Community

We'd love to hear from you! Send us your questions, tips, and stories that might interest your colleagues at Photographs we can share would be wonderful (but please download our photo release form, have it signed, and send it in): there's nothing quite like seeing other teachers and students in action.


Engineering is Elementary® is part of the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL) at the Museum of Science, Boston.

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