Engineering Adventures - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Engineering Adventures curriculum.

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What is Engineering Adventures?

Engineering Adventures is an out-of-school time (OST) engineering curriculum for upper elementary (3rd –5th grade) students. Each curriculum unit provides structured activities that challenge children to engineer solutions for real-world problems.

How is Engineering Adventures different from the Engineering is Elementary curriculum?

Engineering is Elementary is designed for use in classroom settings. Engineering Adventures is specifically designed for out-of-school time settings, including afterschool programs, extended day programs, and summer camps. Kids and educators don’t need any particular background knowledge of science or engineering to use Engineering Adventures. All of our activities are designed to help children develop engineering skills, understand engineering practices, and develop positive attitudes about their ability to engineer.

What resources do I need to use Engineering Adventures in my program?

You’ll need an educator guide and a materials kit. Each educator guide contains detailed instructions for setting up and leading a curriculum unit. The guides also include supporting documents such as reproducible worksheets and engineering journals that children can use to record their work. Materials kits are made up of everything children will need for their engineering activities.

You can also access free online resources, including short videos that provide background information, audio messages from India and Jacob (the characters who frame each activity), and a poster showing the Engineering Design Process.

Sounds great! How do I get everything?

EA educator guides are available as FREE downloads. (If you have trouble opening the PDF documents, make sure you’re using the current version of Adobe Reader.)

You can gather the supplies for your materials kit yourself. We’ve designed each EA activity so most of the materials you need are inexpensive and easy to find at local stores. Check your educator guide for a complete list of the materials you’ll need for the unit, or download your materials list from the EA website

Educator guides and materials kits are also available for purchase at the EiE Store

How much time do I need for an Engineering Adventures unit?

Each EA unit consists of six to ten lessons (we call them adventures), and each adventure takes about 45 minutes. (You may want to plan on 60 minutes for setup, cleanup, transitions, and time for your students to improve their designs “one last time!”)

How do I choose the right Engineering Adventures unit for my group?

EA units are written to be relevant to upper elementary students of all backgrounds and abilities. However, you know your kids best. Take a look at the engineering fields and geographic locations in each unit to find a connection to the interests and experiences of the kids in your program.

Do Engineering Adventures units build on one another?

No. You can use EA units in any order—they don’t follow a particular sequence. You can also use any number of EA units. Many educators use one to three units per year.

Can I use Engineering Adventures with kids outside of the target age range?

We have found that EA works best with kids in 3rd–5th grade.  But we know that student populations in OST programs are rarely that uniform. Many EA educators have successfully adjusted activities to make them simpler for younger kids or more challenging for older kids.

If your program serves middle school students, check out our newest curriculum, Engineering Everywhere!

Do you offer professional development?

Yes. We offer EA professional development workshops for OST educators at our offices in Boston, MA. You can also request an EA workshop at your location. Or, download a free EA professional development guide and lead your own workshop.

Do you have any data to show Engineering Adventures works?

Yes. Check our website for a summary of key research results, and for EA research papers.

Are Engineering Adventures units mapped to standards?

Yes. But please note that EA units are not designed to “cover” or teach standards. The goal of each EA unit is to help kids develop their engineering skills. In doing this, many units link to science or engineering content standards. Check your educator guide for the standards linked to that EA unit, including ITEEA Standards for Technological Literacy, National Science Education Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards*.

*"Next Generation Science Standards” is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product."

How can I get involved?

We invite you to join the hundreds of teachers, educators, and researchers who have helped us pilot test new curriculum units. Sign up for our newsletter and opt into being contacted for pilot opportunites. We will email you when we open the application process.

My question isn’t here! What should I do?

Call 617-589-0230 or send an email to and we will be happy to help.