October 14, at the Florida Theater in Jacksonville former Kingsley Elementary Engineering Enrichment Teacher Melanie Flores delivers a TEDx speech on her work at Kingsley.
While at Kingsley, Ms. Flores pushed the boundaries of what many thought was possible, by implementing a Kindergarten curriculum that she had adapted from an MIT engineering course. The course focuses on utilizing the design process to acheive a real life goal. Students are given a specific problem to solve, a set of design criteria to meet, and the knowledge and tools needed to design, engineer, and prototype their solutions. The Kindergarten Engineering and Design Showcase, which gave the students the opportunity to present their products and exaplain their design choices, became a highlight for students, parents, and teachers.
Ms. Flores is a graduate of MIT with a decade of industrial engineering and training experience. With the combined experiences of engineering, training, and parenthood, she endeavored to develop a curriculum for elementary students that would capture the energy and excitement that children possess for building and creating, with the analytical and systematic process of engineering and design. What she put together became a massive success, garnering national media coverage and, more importantly, classrooms of engaged, excited students.