Thinking like an Engineer

The Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL) at the University of Winchester is co-ordinating a two-year project on behalf of the Royal Academy of Engineering to undertake research with schools and colleges into Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM). In earlier research we identified six EHoM that engineers use regularly when engaged in ‘doing’ engineering, and we are now working with a number of schools to evaluate the use of these EHoM by teachers in their curriculum or after-school activities. The aim is to see if, by deliberately focusing children’s learning on these habits of mind, we can encourage them to think more like engineers and develop the aspiration to engage with the underpinning STEM subjects that will enable them to access careers in engineering in the future. We are working with eight schools in the Hampshire/IoW/SW Sussex region, Reading College and the JCB Academy in Rocester. There is also another group of schools in the North West participating in the project, coordinated by the Science Education Research and Innovation Hub at the University of Manchester.

We are working closely with the Winchester Science Centre, and the STEMNET Ambassadors Network to ensure that we have strong links with STEM employers who can offer real-world insight into classroom activities that foster EHoM.

All the schools participating in the project have been invited to join eedNET and will benefit from supported development and collaborative teacher inquiry during the project. The outcomes will include case studies featuring teaching and learning activities from each of the participants, signposts to resources and checklists.

If you have any queries, please contact the project co-ordinator at CRL, Dr Janet Hanson,

CRL’s Engineering Habits of Mind