Engineering Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Ashley Smith

Ashley has taught elementary school and has a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

Whether you realize it or not, engineering affects your everyday life! Your home was engineered and so was the computer you are sitting at. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different branches of engineering responsible for these products.

What is Engineering?

Chances are you are sitting on something that was engineered, in a room that was engineered, in a building that was engineered, while looking at a computer that was engineered. So, what is engineering? Engineering is the process of creating and building structures, products, and systems by using math and science. An engineer is a person who does the engineering. Engineers solve problems with their inventions. There are several branches of engineering. The main branches are civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering.

Civil Engineering

If you are interested in designing and constructing buildings, bridges, and roads then civil engineering is the branch you might want to study. The Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt; Great Wall of China; Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York; and Hoover Dam in Colorado River, Arizona are all examples of civil engineering. Another example, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is about 9,000 feet long and has been featured in many movies and TV shows: maybe you have seen it on reruns of Full House. The Golden Gate Bridge was designed to withstand strong winds and even earthquakes.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is an example of civil engineering.

Mechanical Engineering

Machines and tools that require machines are designed by mechanical engineers. That car you would love to have someday was designed by a mechanical engineer. The elevator, which allows people to go up and down in buildings with ease and little effort, is another great example of mechanical engineering. Can you imagine walking up stairs to the 100th floor of a building? That would be exhausting!

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is the study, design, and development of electrical equipment. Computers, robots, cell phones, and lights are just some examples of electrical engineering.

Cell phones are an example of electrical engineering.

Chemical Engineering

Have you ever blown a big bubble with your bubble gum? Guess what? A chemical engineer designed that! Chemical engineers develop and produce vaccines and treatments for people who are sick. They also develop ways to purify drinking water and design ways to process and produce foods, among other things.

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