Bay Area Discovery Museum Publishes Free Early Engineering Toolkit for Bay Area Educators, Parents, and Caregivers

Industry: Non Profit & Charity

The Think, Make, Try®  Toolkit is a free resource created by Bay Area Discovery Museum to support educators, parents and caregivers to explore early engineering with their children, ages 3 - 8. The Toolkit is free to download and print in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Sausalito, CA (PRUnderground) April 17th, 2023

The Bay Area Discovery Museum recently published the Think, Make, Try® Toolkit. This free resource supports and empowers educators, parents and caregivers to explore early engineering with children. The Toolkit’s goal is to make the concepts, processes and skills that encompass engineering more accessible and break down the barriers to engaging young children in early engineering. The Toolkit is free to download and print in English, Spanish and Chinese, on the Bay Area Discovery Museum website.

Think, Make, Try® is the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s unique three-step engineering design process for young learners ages 3 to 8: think about the problem, make a prototype and try and retry. The process builds upon children’s natural curiosities and introduces the engineering design process to support the development of creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. In addition to a literature review of the research behind the Toolkit, the Toolkit includes a 1-page guide of Quick Tips, 12 engineering activities, a set of resources to use with children to collect design materials and create a design plan, and an Educator Resource Guide as well as accompanying signs to hang in the classroom.

California’s NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) recognizes engineering as an important skill set, but it often feels abstract and daunting for adults working with young children. The Toolkit was created for educators and caregivers working with young children ages 3 to 8 years, regardless of their engineering knowledge and experience. Adults may find it a source of guidance or inspiration or can use the resources directly from the toolkit as it was designed to be tailored to many environments and situations. Think, Make, Try® develops essential cognitive skills, including reasoning, growth mindset, theory of mind, executive function, spatial reasoning, metacognition and more.

Kelly McKinley, CEO of Bay Area Discovery Museum, says, “We want adults and children to feel empowered in their understanding and exploration of engineering. The play-based learning approach of the toolkit makes it easy for any adult to engage children in early engineering. I hope this resource reminds adults and educators, and teaches children, how powerful and capable they are.”

Bay Area Discovery Museum’s education team has been using the Think, Make, Try® approach in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Workshops and with the Try It Truck (the museum’s engineering lab on wheels) to teach children about the E in STEAM and model for educators how early engineering can be incorporated into their classrooms.  For educators, the Toolkit can be used as an extension of these programs, or on its own as a guide to integrate early engineering into their lesson plans.

The research for the toolkit was made possible by the generous support of the Thomas P. Murphy Fund at the San Diego Foundation.

For more information about the Toolkit, please contact

About Bay Area Discovery Museum

A 501c3, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is a children’s museum in Sausalito with a mission to create playful learning experiences that inspire a passion for discovery in every child. Children grow and thrive through joyful play; when children and families thrive, our communities thrive.

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