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Research has consistently highlighted the importance of promoting child-parent interactions. In this essay, we describe the development of MAKEngineering kits that provide collaborative learning experiences for children in Grades 2–6 to engage in engineering design tasks with members of their families in their home environment. First, we present five design principles that emerged through a design-based research approach. Second, we used data from our research project to examine the impact of the MAKEngineering kits, guided by each design principle, on children’s and parents’ experiences as engineering learners and/or educators. In attending to both of these purposes, we argue for the inclusion of the five design principles in engineering-based programs as a way to guide parent-child interactions and support families as engineering learners and educators. One significance of this paper lies in the kits’ potential to diminish lack of access to other nonformal learning environments, as well as support parents as engineering educators in an everyday context.



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