Common Sense Review
Updated September 2014

PBS LearningMedia: Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media

Videos, lessons, essays, PD help bring engineering practices to kids
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This module is part of the Website PBS LearningMedia.
Common Sense Rating 4
  • From the main page, choose a grade level to see lesson and video selections.
  • Introductory videos help orient teachers to engineering and NGSS standards.
  • The Engineering is Elementary resources make engineering accessible to younger kids.
  • The Design Squad Nation resources provide engineering tasks for elementary and middle-school kids.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

PBS LearningMedia’s NGSS and Engineering collection is a compilation of 36 lessons and several professional development segments that infuse engineering practices into the classroom. Content is sorted by age, and teachers are supported through teacher tips and background essays. Videos are streaming (some are downloadable), and many have related handouts -- kids are bound to love these, as well as the design challenges.

Start with the PD videos -- these can be an introduction (or review) to engineering as a process and engineers as creative problem-solvers. Lean on clear lesson tips and handouts in the Engineering is Elementary activities to educate younger students. At the same time, you'll be able to create excitement through activities like building towers to support stuffed animals. If you teach upper-elementary or middle school kids, help your students make meaningful connections between space science and engineering. Use the Design Squad Nation video segments and the lesson plans grounded in the NASA explorations. Students create and test magnetic field detectors and core samplers! Biology and anatomy classrooms can extend into fields of prosthetics and robotics. Standout resources include Modeling Truss Structures, Designing Parachutes, and Tissue Engineering.

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