Curriculum Types

What’s the difference between TeachEngineering lessons, activities, units and sprinkles?

As you peruse the collection, notice our four types of curricular documents: lessons, activities, units and sprinkles. You can use the search filter to limit your searches to one or more of these document types.

Lessons provide students (and teachers) with the content knowledge to successfully work through the lessons’ corresponding activities. Because TeachEngineering is focused on delivering hands-on, engineering curricula, no standalone lessons are permitted in the collection. Each lesson has at least one associated activity that gives students an opportunity to apply their knowledge and cement comprehension in a hands-on way.

Activities give students a chance to move beyond worksheets and pencils for a more tangible learning experience! TeachEngineering activities often have an engineering design focus in which students experience the full or partial engineering design process—a powerful way to generate solutions for any problem. Students gain knowledge by actively doing something, such as project-based learning, rather than learning about it from a book, lecture, or worksheet. While many activities are standalone, others are paired with a supporting lesson document.

Units are cohesive collections of lessons and activities designed to be taught together. Each unit has a main page that describes the suggested order to teach the associated lessons and activities. Those associated lessons and activities are also designed to be conducted on their own, out of the bigger unit context. Any dependencies to other TeachEngineering documents are always indicated. Not all TeachEngineering lessons and activities are part of a unit.

Sprinkles are abbreviated versions of our most popular activities, giving you the opportunity to engage students in hands-on engineering in informal learning settings. These “taste of engineering” activities are perfect for before or afterschool clubs! Most take 60 minutes or less to conduct and are designed for quick prep by teachers and non-teachers. They’re provided in Spanish, too!

Curriculum types diagram