The importance of experiential learning in the classroom

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Engineers of Tomorrow is a not-for-profit that is shaping the engineering narrative by telling better stories. 

Posted November 4, 2019

In today’s world, attention spans are shrinking at an alarming rate, and kids are exposed to more information now than ever! Bringing experiential learning into the classroom just makes sense. Here are the top 3 reasons we think experiential learning is going to help inspire the next generation of problem solvers and game changers.

  • Experiential learning helps kids connect the dots between what they are learning now, and where that learning can take them.

Some kids are happy to learn just for the sake of learning, but others are motivated by something bigger. Connecting to a greater purpose (fyi…we love to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals to help with this!).

  • Experiential learning brings a different perspective into the classroom.

When done right, bringing someone from industry into the classroom can be a valuable learning opportunity for the teacher and the students. In the case of the Engineer in Residence program, volunteers (professional engineers) have the opportunity to develop a great working relationship with the teacher since they visit them on a regular basis. They are motivated to connect with their community, their profession, and give back.

  •  Collaborating is key.

If we want to be innovative, strategic and forward thinking, we have to go beyond the traditional education model – integrating opportunities like industry support partners. The value of an experience comes from the emotion attached to that experience. Imagine, for example, the impact for a group of students that get to visit the IMAX head office, hear from IMAX engineers, see and touch real IMAX equipment, and then watch an IMAX film – wow! The learning that accompanies that experience is now connected with the emotion! (btw….that actually happened during National Engineering Month 2017!)

To find out more about how you can bring experiential learning into the classroom through the Engineer in Residence program – either as a teacher, or as a STEM professional – visit eir.ca

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