What is Novel Engineering?

Novel Engineering Overview:

Novel Engineering is an integrated approach to teaching engineering and literacy. As part of Novel Engineering, students develop projects based on texts they read in English Language Arts or other content classes, such as history. The characters become their clients and students pull from the text to scope problems and set constraints as they engage in engineering design. Teachers play a pivotal role in supporting their students’ engagement by providing a supportive, responsive environment that will allow students to build on their ideas as they work on complex problems. Instead of prescribing a particular solution or process for students, we believe that teaching engineering involves listening to, understanding, and responding to student thinking. Design is about realizing the ideas of individuals and Novel Engineering gives students the space to explore their ideas through design projects.

Integrating Reading and Engineering

In an integrated unit, reading the text can support the engineering and doing engineering can help students understand the text. Moving between text and engineering helps support learning in both areas. Students begin by reading a book and discussing problems encountered by the characters. At some point, either during reading or upon completion of the book, the students design something that they can build in the classroom that will solve one of the problems in the book.

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