Engineering is Elementary


“[Delaware] is employing a program out of the Boston Museum of Science called Engineering is Elementary. It literally starts in first grade, and it has the greatest little modules at the appropriate level for the grade level. That’s what’s needed. Because by the time a kid gets to eighth grade, it’s almost too late.”

-- Ellen Kullman, CEO, DuPont

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

All Students

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Engineering is Elementary's elementary school engineering curriculum has reached almost 59,000 teachers and 4.2 million students nationwide. Rigorous studies show that EiE has a significant impact on students' performance in science and boosts their enthusiasm for engineering.


Program Overview

The Engineering is Elementary (R) (EiE) project aims to foster engineering and technological literacy among children. EiE has created a research-based, standards-driven, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. EiE lessons not only promote K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, but also connect with literacy and social studies.

EiE has four goals: (1) increase children's technological literacy, (2) increase elementary-school educators' ability to teach engineering and technology, (3) increase the number of schools in the U.S. that include engineering at the elementary level, and (4) conduct research and assessment to further the first three goals and contribute to knowledge about engineering teaching and learning at the elementary level. EiE materials have been designed to reach all children; the project has a firm commitment to engaging populations that are currently underserved and underrepresented in STEM.

How To Get Involved

It costs roughly $20,000 to support EiE in a typical elementary school with about 400-500 students, though costs can vary by school size.


Christine Cunningham, Founder & Director, EiE

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.