Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer Course Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Thinking Like an Engineer Course from Innovators Tribe for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Innovators Tribe provides teachers and homeschoolers curriculum that teaches innovation, creativity, and discovery. Currently Innovators Tribe has these courses: Thinking Like an Engineer and Thinking Like an Architect. These two courses include 3D design software. Thinking Like a Carpenter is another course that will be coming soon. These courses are packed with interactive lessons and multimedia and hands-on activities. They have great instructors teaching them that are well versed in what they are teaching and deliver the course in a engaging and enjoyable way. These courses are not live, but pre-recorded and fully online. Each course is approximately 30 hours long (including activities) and can be done at the students own pace. They cover topics such as: engineering, nano-technology, architecture, innovation, 3D design, future technologies, robotics, bridge building, construction, manufacturing, and much more. These courses give online exercise in applied math, science, innovation, design, and construction. These can be used as a part of a science course for one school year quarter or an elective course for 1/4 credit towards high school per course. These courses are recommended for grades 6-12 and would be perfect for those students who like to design, build, and/or create. A single subscription can be used for an entire household.

Thinking Like an Engineer is one of the courses that is offered by Innovators Tribe. This course is taught by Mr. Kroeplin (Mr. K), an award winning certified Technology and Engineering instructor. In this course the student will learn: what an engineer is and does, the many different types of engineers, some of the math and science used by engineers, some of the problems engineers are trying to solve, the worlds greatest engineering challenges, about a particular man that solved an engineering problem 300 years ago, how to think like an engineer (innovator). In this course the student will utilize 3D CAD software that is included to design and build a: roller coaster, bridge, and Rube Goldberg machine. Challenge activities include designing and building: towers, structures, water filters, etc. Comes with a free mini course called Thinking Like an Innovator which goes into how to brainstorm, use innovative thinking, solve problems, have more ideas, etc.

How to Get to the Course and What you can do in the Course Dashboard:
  1. Go to the Innovators Tribe website
  2. Click on the Student Login link in the upper right hand corner
  3. Login with your user name and password
  4. Click on resume course in your Student Dashboard
  5. Once in your Student Dashboard you can view the teacher in the upper right hand corner, advance slides with an arrow button, and get to resource documents. 

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We received a 2-year subscription to the Thinking Like an Engineer course from Innovators Tribe. As a homeschooling family we love anything that has to do with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). I chose this course because my husband is actually going to school right now to get his Bachelors in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in engineering management. He already has experience in the Navy on a fast attack nuclear-powered submarine. I wanted to have my oldest son, Delbin, take this course and see if he would be interested in becoming an engineer too and perhaps expand his career interest possibilities for the future. He is 17 years old and in 11th grade and already loves to build and create things. I sat in on the course as well because I too wanted to learn more about this field. We did this at our own pace and have enjoyed what we have learned so far.

After seeing the course syllabus and seeing how to maneuver in the Student Dashboard we started the course. First we downloaded and printed a Unit Journal so that Delbin could keep a log of what he was learning. Then we started into the Introduction to Engineering.

Delbin with his tower he built.

In lesson 1 they had a bunch of videos and slides that went into what engineering is. We also went to a link to a website that was all about female engineers. The first challenge was building a freestanding tower that was taller than 5 feet tall with only 4 sheets of printer paper and 1 foot of 1 inch masking tape. Delbin built one 5 feet and one inch.

Teela with her Weight Challenge project.

In lesson 2 they had a bunch of videos and slides that talked about types of engineers. There was a Activity Guide that we downloaded to do some internet research on what type of engineer we were interested in. I've always thought it would be cool to become an Environmental Engineer and Delbin now is thinking how fun it would be to become a Gaming Engineer because he loves to play video and computer games so much. There are so many types we hadn't even thought of! Then there was another challenge to create structure that could hold the most books up 1 inch off the flat surface with only using 1 piece of printer paper and 24 inches of 1 inch masking tape. Delbin's younger sister who is 9 wanted to do this one.

This course has been great so far. The activities were really fun and challenging. The videos and slides were engaging and entertaining. I do wish that I could after watching the video go back and re-watch it...we weren't able to do so. The unit journal tied everything together with questions about what was learned and helped recall the things in the videos, slides, and activities. We have really enjoyed everything it has to offer thus far and can't wait to dive into it even more. We especially are excited to use the 3D CAD software. We recommend this highly for homeschoolers in grade 6-12.

Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer Course is now on sale for $96 (regularly priced at $149).

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Innovators Tribe...
Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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