One of the most exciting aspects of homeschooling high school is the vast range of high school electives for STEM. Are you raising a budding engineer, architect, or carpenter?
All states require a minimum of general education credits to graduate high school. These include such subjects as math, language arts, history, fine arts, science, etc. In addition to those, high schoolers need to fill their credit quota with a certain number of elective courses. Here in Ohio, teenagers need 5 elective credits. I have found that most elective courses are equal to 1/2 credit, so this gives students the opportunity to spread their wings and delve into a variety of topics to meet their credit requirement.
My 14-year-old son received hands-on geometry practice, learned computer-aided design (CAD), designed a roller coaster, learned how to engineer a bridge, discovered some of the real-world problems engineers are trying to solve, and studied nano-engineering, all in one course.
How in the World Did He Learn This?
Buckle up people, this is exciting. Innovators Tribe is a set of online courses for young innovators, developed by Wayne Kroeplin, a certified technology, innovation, and engineering teacher. After years of curriculum development, Wayne and his wife Kathy, a 1st grade teacher, decided to take what he created for his classroom, and package it into a series of online courses for students who are interesting in design and engineering.
He recognized the need for curriculum and resources in the homeschooling and private school communities.
The courses are designed for grades 6-12 and perfect for teenagers who want to learn about engineering, nano-technology, architecture, innovation, 3D design, future technologies, robotics, bridge building, construction, manufacturing, and much more.
What We Have Loved
- Innovators Tribe is not only a course, but a place where students can be a part of a literal tribe of like-minded students! Only students are allowed to join the forum, and each and every post is moderated by the staff BEFORE it is allowed to be posted on the forum.
- Design software is included!
- Instructional videos are recorded and the course is self-paced.
- The challenges are fun and relevant.
- The instructor is lively, encouraging, and he really knows his stuff!
- You cannot move onto the activity until you have completely the corresponding video portion.
Here is How it Works
We were given access to the Think Like an Engineer course for free for the purpose of an honest review. I wouldn’t recommend this course to you (and my son certainly wouldn’t have sped through the lessons so fast) if we both didn’t absolutely love it.
You can sign up for a free trial of any of the three courses if you are not quite sold yet. Just click view course and register for the free trial.
There are seven units all together, from the basic What is Engineering to the advanced Nano-Engineering. See the very detailed course outline.
Each lesson includes recorded videos, and then a challenge activity. Like I mentioned above, a student cannot move onto the challenge activity until they have completely the instructional video.
Want to Know a Bit More?
First of all, there is a unit journal for the student to fill out as they work their way through the course.
Wayne pops up throughout the instructional videos, sharing lots of facts about engineering. Look how much engineers can earn!
Here is an example of Wayne explaining a challenge.
There are always clear-cut rules and instructions to go along with the challenges. Just this week, they have implemented a brand new system. Here is a personal note from Wayne…
We are very excited about the new student dashboard and virtual classroom. It’s going to make the learning experience much easier. We are also excited about some of the new activities including a virtual wind tunnel for testing the students 3D designs. And, this summer we are finishing the creation of our new course, Thinking Like a Carpenter. Lots of excitement going on here at Innovators Tribe headquarters!
Using the CAD program that he mastered during this course, my son started working on building a TARDIS!
*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.