Review by Paul Cancellieri, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2012

Engineer Your Life

Informative but dull site for girls interested in engineering

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Teachers say (2 Reviews)
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9-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: This comprehensive source of information about engineering careers shows professional women as positive role models.

Cons: The site is designed for passive reading and watching, with no interactivity.

Bottom Line: Engineer Your Life has a great mission and presents loads of high-quality information, but the lack of interaction limits its appeal and usefulness.

Teachers definitely could add this to a list of useful resources for girls interested in engineering careers, but as a tool for classroom use, there's not much here. The few videos might be interesting supplements to an introduction to engineering careers and give kids an idea of what engineers actually do.

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Clearly stated at the top of each page is Engineer Your Life's mission: "An Engineering Guide for High School Girls." To this end, the site is full of biographies of female engineers that include personal stories, videos, photos, educational histories, and salary information. The information is mostly up to date and focuses on topics that would interest girls of this age group.

The main page includes a short quiz about interests and a rotating carousel of short video clips. In addition to biographies, different sections explain what engineering is and what types of careers are available. The final two sections lead girls through the steps of identifying colleges with engineering programs and applying to them, and give descriptions of the many engineering-related careers.

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Engineer Your Life is part of a national campaign created by a community-based coalition to encourage high school girls to pursue engineering in college. Through the site, girls can find out what engineering is, why they should consider it, and what they can do right now to put themselves on the path to becoming an engineer.

On the downside, this is the extent of the site's attempt to engage teenagers. There are no games, activities (online or otherwise), or interactive learning tools. The site includes guides to choosing colleges and applying, as well as links to camps and other opportunities. However, it does little to grab the attention of a demographic group underrepresented in these fields.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The biographies of women engineers are interesting and represent a wide variety of fields. However, there's no interaction, and the site is primarily text with only a few videos and photos.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Learning is passive, with girls reading and watching content about engineering careers. There are no opportunities for creation or discussion.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

There's no social interaction on the site. Videos are closed-captioned, and text will be accessible for most high school readers.

Common Sense Reviewer
Paul Cancellieri Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Mona E. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Huntington High School
Huntington, WV
Being a pre-engineering teacher I use this site with my female students for resources and role models.

I use this site as a great resource for engineering fields that I may not be familiar with. This is not only a good site for my female students but also for the male students.

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