IU Engineering Kit Summer STEM Challenge

Note: Are you already registered for one of the IU Engineering Kits? The following videos and booklists will help you take part in the IU Engineering Kit Summer STEM Challenge.





Help Children Develop a Growth Mindset with IU Engineering Kits

Children face a multitude of challenges during their lives: from learning to read, to how to shoot a basketball into a net, or how to make a sandwich. For some children, the challenges may appear to be mastered easily, and it’s tempting to praise a child’s innate talent or intellect. But all children, no matter their skill level, can develop a growth mindset when they understand their abilities can grow with practice and effort. 

Professor and researcher Carol Dweck found that when we praise children for the process they engage in––the hard work they invest in solving a problem or practicing a skill––they learn to value persistence. And when children experience a setback or frustration with their abilities, we can help them build resiliency by regarding this experience as a “not yet” opportunity to pause and reflect and try again. 

As Dweck explains: “not yet” gives you a path into the future. It helps you see yourself on a learning curve and capable of improvement. “I haven’t learned how to do this yet.”

Developing a growth mindset is something that researchers at Indiana University also encourage as they invite children and their caregivers to consider different ways they might make or design something to achieve a particular outcome. As part of their Home Engineering Project and Summer STEM Challenge, IU researchers are making four different engineering kits available to children ages 7–12 and their caregivers to borrow from the Library.

Caregivers can register online through the Library’s event calendar for one or more of the kits:

  • Squishy Circuits
  • Watercolor Bot
  • Trendy Tennies
  • Paper Rollercoaster

Register Now


Pick up your kit in the children’s area at the Downtown Library to use at home. The kit includes a booklet to help your children learn about engineers and what they do, and suggestions for ways to guide your child in their making. When you register for a kit, you’ll also receive book recommendations to enhance your child’s learning, an optional online workshop, and an invitation from scientists at Indiana University to take part in their research about how to help children develop the ability to solve problems creatively, through experimentation and making, and by developing a growth mindset.

To learn more about the “growth mindset” concept, watch this YouTube video on "Developing a Growth Mindset" with Carol Dweck, or read Key Takeaways, Analysis & Review of Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D as an eBook, instantly available with your library card on Hoopla Digital.