STEM Design Briefs

LINKS to Design Briefs and STEM Resources


Design and Discovery is a comprehensive inquiry-based curriculum, which introduces students ages 11-15 to engineering through design. In 18 sequential sessions, students follow the design process, from identifying a design opportunity to developing a working prototype.  Free to download from Intel.

Design Squad:  This TV program produced by WGBH Boston features eight diverse high school students who tackle a series of intriguing and sometimes wacky design challenges for real clients in a fast-paced team environment. Not showing on TV in Minnesota, but you can download the episodes and excellent activity and educator guides from their website:

Also check out the elementary engineering activities on other PBS shows:


Dragonfly TV:

Building Big:

Engineering Education Service Center stocks books, supplies, movies & resources for teaching about engineering.

Engineering is Elementary (EiE):  The Museum of Science in Boston is creating this research-based, standards-based, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science, social science and language topics.

Future Scientists and Engineers of America (FSEA):  Excellent elementary engineering kits that can be bought individually, or in quantity for after school programs

International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) is the professional organization for technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators.  Published “Standards for Technological Literacy,” the inspiration for many engineering standards nationally.  Great links and resources include e-newsletters, films, publications and an elementary curriculum called I3: Invention, Innovation and Inquiry.

Pitsco:  A catalog packed with engineering kits and materials.

Project Lead the Way:  Comprehensive engineering curriculum for secondary schools, with new elementary lessons.

Schoolyards to Skylines: Architecture lessons integrated with elementary subjects.

The Science Source:  A favorite source of materials and books for hands-on engineering.  Their catalog has a particularly good section of elementary engineering books from England.

Stuff That Works:  Elementary engineering curriculum developed by the City College of New York (CUNY).  Download projects online or purchase curriculum books and resources. is a searchable, digital library with standards-based curricula to teach engineering in K-12 settings. Also see this related site, Engineering Pathway.

A World In Motion: Engineering challenges for elementary students. Curriculum and materials free from Society for Automotive Engineers.

Local Organizations for Science and Engineering

Compiled by The Works

Bakken Library and Museum


Destination Imagination

First Lego League/High Tech Kids


Leonardo’s Basement

Mad Science


Minnesota Science Teachers Association

Minnesota Technology Education Association

Pavek Museum of Broadcasting

Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Outside the Box


SEEK: environmental education resources

Starbase Minnesota


Tronix Team

Urban Boatbuilders

The Works

Young Inventor’s Fair (YIF)

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