Due to the current health concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) has decided to cancel all in-person workshops this summer. We are currently considering virtual options and will post updates here as our plans take shape.



Introduction to Teaching Engineering

9am – 3pm

This engaging four-day workshop equips elementary teachers with the knowledge, experiences, and skills to effectively integrate principles of engineering into their classrooms, libraries, and makerspaces and meet their students’ specific educational needs. In this workshop, educators will move between discussions about pedagogy and the practical aspects of teaching engineering to actually working with each other to practice doing hands-on engineering activities themselves. Additionally, workshop participants have the special opportunity to experience engineering education happening in real time as they observe and work with students in a concurrently running CEEO summer elementary-level workshop all week long. 

Teachers will observe a variety of engineering projects across many disciplines and learn about the fundamental aspects of what makes a good engineering project. As a capstone, teachers are supported as they develop their own tailor-made engineering project which can be immediately implemented in their own classrooms. Additionally, at the conclusion of the workshop teachers will leave equipped with a collection of ready-to-teach activities (demonstrated by Tufts CEEO instructors) which they can confidently implement themselves. 



Novel Engineering: Integrating Engineering and Literacy

9am – 4am

Novel Engineering is an integrated approach to teaching engineering and literacy that uses texts to provide context for engineering problems. In this two-day workshop, educators will learn about Novel Engineering and how to implement a Novel Engineering unit with their students. In Novel Engineering, reading the text can support the engineering and doing engineering can help students understand the text. Students begin by reading a book and discussing problems encountered by the characters and then follow the engineering design process and build a solution to solve the characters’ problems. 

NE Professional Development consists of three main strands. 

  1. Engaging teachers in engineering by having them work through Novel Engineering activities
  2. Looking at video of students’ engaged in Novel Engineering activities to understand what NE looks like in a classroom and to identify the beginning of engineering in an integrated activity
  3. Planning Novel Engineering activities for the classroom


2020 LEGO Engineering Institute for Educators

9am – 4am

This year, the LEGO Engineering Institute for Educators will explore the new LEGO Education SPIKE Prime robotics platform. It is a powerful and engaging tool for teaching STEM, programming, and engineering design. Tufts CEEO Summer LEGO Engineering Institute gives teachers the programming and construction background they need to make effective use of LEGO robotics in their classrooms. Through hands-on, open-ended design projects, participants will learn engineering concepts, LEGO hardware & software, and related pedagogy. Throughout, we will focus on effective classroom implementation: how to share these concepts with students in an approachable and creative way.

The Institute is open to any K-12 teacher, informal education provider, volunteer, or member of industry interested in learning about LEGO Engineering. This session is designed for educators with little or no experience with SPIKE Prime. Participants will learn the basics of Scratch-based LEGO programming as well as building concepts, including the use of motors, sensors, and gears. Classroom management will also be discussed—running multi-day open-ended projects, appealing to both girls and boys, grouping students effectively, organizing and storing materials. Sample projects: build a robot that moves without wheels, create a sensor-controlled robot that draws pictures.



Building Biomimetic Robots

9am – 4am

In this Designing Biomimetic Robots teacher workshop, participants will explore our biology-inspired middle school robotics curriculum developed as a collaboration between TERC in Cambridge, MA, and Tufts CEEO. This 15-lesson curriculum was funded by the National Science Foundation to support middle school learning experiences in computational thinking, engineering design, and life science. The curriculum guides learners through combining the Hummingbird Robotics toolkit (a robotics platform from Carnegie Mellon University) and block-based programming (MakeCode) with life science research to prototype working robots. Students explore biological structure-function relationships and use what they learn to design, build, program, test, and iterate on “digging robots” in response to a disaster engineering design challenge.

Teachers attending this two-day workshop will learn how to build and program a biomimetic robot and will practice implementing key portions of the curriculum unit. Although the curriculum is intended for grades 6 through 8, teachers of older and younger students are also welcome to attend and explore options for adapting the learning experiences and tools for other ages and contexts. The workshop is open to any K-12 teacher, informal education provider, volunteer, or member of industry interested in learning about educational robotics.