Engineering is Elementary Founder Christine Cunningham Speaks on K-12 Engineering Curriculum, Equal Access to STEM Education

In 2003, engineering for elementary education was a radical concept.

But Christine Cunningham, an expert in engineering education, knew that the fundamentals of engineering can be taught at an early age—on the playground, in the classroom, or even at home. As Christine points out, children are always building things up, tearing them down, and building them up again—whether it’s block towers, doll beds, or train tracks.

Christine knew that this play and problem solving were just the first steps to building future engineers. So, she founded Engineering is Elementary, a K–12 engineering curriculum and education program headquartered at the Museum of Science in Boston. The program has now reached over 13 million students nationwide, and is the reason Christine was just named as one of three recipients of the 2017 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education this week.

In this interview with Ranjini Govender of Stand for Children Massachusetts, Christine Cunningham tells us about her groundbreaking work at the Museum of Science, and how she created an early engineering curriculum.

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Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.