Website review by Paul Cancellieri, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2012

Engineer Your Life

Informative but dull site for girls interested in engineering

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 2 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
9–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Science, Character & SEL, College & Career Prep

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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.

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.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

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 Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

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

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

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

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Donna M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Vista Visions Academy
Vista, United States
Introduce engineering to girls!
This site is a resource to introduce students to the career of an engineer. I like the fact that it shows young women of various ethnicities practicing engineering, however, I would like the site better if it also showed some males. There are links explaining different types of engineering and what classes students need to take beginning in middle school to become an engineer. Students can also explore college options for engineering. The site provides information, but it is up to the teacher to design ...
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