“Now I understand what engineering in elementary school looks like!”
A dad raving about the Family Engineering Night
“Easiest and most fun event I have ever volunteered for at school.”
A teacher leading a station
“Loved how it got all members of the family involved in problem solving!”
A response from the parent survey
How much to do you involve your families with school?
If you’re like me, involvement with families consists of newsletters, emails, volunteering in the classroom, attending performances or academic celebrations, and conferences. As I started analyzing and reviewing how I was engaging families in the new science standards, I quickly realized this was purely a one-way system. Families were merely an audience for whatever I deemed relevant.
As I researched more about the traditional family involvement paradigm I’d been adhering to for so long, I realized I was missing an important and critical opportunity to have families as partners. So I started unpacking my beliefs and biases about families, and I thought about ways I could reframe and reshape what I’ve been doing. I was ready to move beyond the status quo and start pushing my practices to move out of my comfort zone!
The opportunity to start this work fell on my plate as a mandate. In my new role as district Elementary Science and STEM Specialist, I was informed that all 15 elementary schools would be hosting a family engineering night, for the first time EVER.
We’ve completed five of our school events and received overwhelmingly positive responses from teachers, volunteers, families, and students — a few of my favorites opened this post.
Here’s how we did it — and you can do it too!