Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Innovators Tribe a Homeschool Crew Review

I’m ending the 2017 Homeschool Crew Review with an amazing hand on engineering course. I’m excited to share this review about Innovators Tribe with you. My son has been ecstatic using Thinking Like an Engineer and exploring the field of applied science. I received a 2-year subscription.

What is Thinking Like an Engineer?

Thinking Like an Engineer is an online science course that covers many STEM concepts for today's world. It is for grades 6-12. The course is around 30 hours of work and can be used as a ¼ high school credit. A single subscription can be used for your entire household.  

If you’re wondering if this will work on your computer you can see if your computer meets the requirements here.

All the lessons are self- paced and you have the ability to go back over a lesson if needed. The courses aren’t live video feeds but, pre-recorded and very interactive. If you don’t know anything about engineering-not to worry as the classes are taught for you. The lessons can be used independently by your student.

The course is broken down in units and then the units are broken down in smaller units.
The units include:

Intro to Engineering
Intro to 3D Design
Engineering Rollercoasters
Engineering Bridges
Nano Engineering
Thinking Like an Engineer - Course Conclusion

Every unit also has a journal. This goes along with each video for you to answer the questions in each video. It’s a fill in the blank sheet. Some of the assignments require some research. There is also a syllabus that you can download so you can see what materials you will need for each unit.

There are several hands-on-activities called “Challenges” throughout to give your student a deeper and meaningful understanding of engineering. You have to think about the challenges out to make your project work.

There are recommended websites to explore deeper into an engineer topic.

How Did I use Thinking Like an Engineer in my Homeschool?

My 6th grade son has been the one using the course. Typically he spent 2-3 hours a week on the course. Each lesson starts out with a video. Some weeks you have links to other sites that have videos that you’d watch. If there was a challenge then it would take my son a bit longer. I found that he wanted to improve his first try if he wasn’t satisfied with his first attempt. I was surprised as he really wanted to outdo himself if he seen results that he felt he could tweak to improve his 1st attempt. He would work on the journal after the lessons. Some of the lessons had worksheets that you work on.

One worksheet had him research what type of engineering he would be interested in. He had to research different fields, salary, and why he thought it would be interesting. I was expecting him to come up with something with bridges or along that line. He took several days digging into this during and after school hours. He came up with a petroleum engineer! I did not expect that one. He said he couldn’t find videos in this field. He really wanted to find videos in petroleum engineering. It could be that he is not using the right keywords to search online. He was able to locate several articles and what he needs to complete for high school for college on it. He thinks he knows what colleges he would attend for this field. So we will see if this is an area that he continues on in the future. Little Man went above and beyond the required worksheet for this. He even gave dad the information. He then found out that he had a great uncle who passed away a few years ago that worked successfully in this field.

The challenges are his favorite and we have had a lot of fun doing these.

He had to do a tower challenge building it out of 4 pieces of paper and a foot of tape. The tower had to stay standing for a certain amount of time and had to see how high he could get it to go.

Another challenge was stacking as many books as you can 1” off the surface-using paper. His first attempt wasn't up to his standards and he had to try a different method.

Another challenge was cleaning dirty water. Which my son thought was interesting how it works but, didn’t want to do this one. We compromised and I made him look up videos online about this as his work for the unit. It was impressive watching kids create this type of mechanism.

The next unit could change his engineer focus as it has a 3D Design software to create bridges and rollercoaster.  We will start this unit this week.  I watched several of the units myself and I have to say that I’m excited to see what my son comes up with. 

Innovators Tribe has other courses available. My son is already begging me to do the other courses when he finishes this one up.

If you have a teenager who loves technology and hands-on activities, these courses are made for them.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew are reviewing Innovators Tribe-Thinking Like an Engineer and Thinking Like an Architect. You can see what they think also.


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