about

Engineer's Playground provides resources, connections, and services to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)--particularly engineering and technology--accessible and fun. 

Engineer's Playground also provides advice, lesson seeds, professional development, and consulting. These share five primary guidelines in their design which stimulate engaging, meaningful, and high quality STEM learning for teachers, students, and parents:

Engineer's Playground's 5 Rules of Thumb

1. Make it real

Not all children have had real hands-on STEM experiences, often due to social, economic, or cultural reasons. We work with teachers to design lessons to reach a wide spectrum of students.

2. "How" as well as "Why"

Humans knew how to manipulate technology (like materials) long before they understood why those processes yielded particular results. We work with teachers to balance the empirical approach used by our ancestors with the traditional "theory-first" approach used in schools.

3. Authentic, not canned

Authentic STEM, leverages all four areas in a cohesive way: Students engineer solutions to address a need (preferably one they care about) by analyzing with mathematical insight, designing using scientific phenomena, and building with appropriate tools and technology. This results in full experiences rather than isolated labs that meet individual standards.

4. STEM is everywhere

We work to integrate STEM with other content areas because we recognize that STEM deepens appreciation of great literature, historical events, and works of art. But the reverse is also true: literacy methods, historical lessons, and art lessons develop STEM abilities like abstract thinking and human considerations.

5. Time for play & practice

No matter how good an instructor is, real learning and understanding takes time. Whether we are teaching teachers or parents or developing lessons, we always leave time for practice and for play. Play, after all, is child's work, and we are all children when we first learn anything.

Our Activities

We stay busy... Supporting Teachers ~ Helping Parents ~ Advocating Quality STEM Learning ~ Providing Connections ~ Making Engineering Visible

Us

Yvonne Ng, Founder

Yvonne Ng, MSME, founder and chief consultant of Engineer’s Playground, is an engineering education specialist, consultant, and author who combines practical insights with creative approaches to training teachers and students and developing STEM curricula. In 2011, Yvonne founded Engineer’s Playground LLC to help make engineering accessible to a wider audience by nurturing and developing the lively curiosity and hands-on abilities that make children natural engineers. Her goal is to help inspire future generations of engineers and scientists, particularly at a time when STEM skills are in high demand. Read more

Associates

Lori R. Maxfield, PhD, brings years of classroom teaching, curriculum writing, teacher professional development, and STEM-education to Engineer's Playground. She is a powerhouse in helping teachers at the elementary, middle school, and senior high levels from her personal experience as a teacher and key education expert in the SCU EcoStars/GLOBE program and the STEM Graduate Certificate and consulting services, and she has served as an evaluator in many grant-funded projects. Read more

We also have some great behind-the-scenes grant writers, graphic artists, toy makers, product engineers, and editors in our network.