Frequently Asked Questions

What is Let’s Build?

Let’s Build:  Engineering Fun for Kids brings family and community volunteers into Needham elementary schools to organize and run supplemental engineering activities for children.  Every year Let’s Build provides engineering design challenges for students in grades K-5.  These activities are connected to and support the existing science curriculum.  Volunteers are fully trained and work in teams.




What are the goals of Let’s Build?

Let’s Build aspires to make engineering useful, accessible and important to students by:​​

1.    Exciting, demystifying and showcasing engineering.​

2.    Demonstrating that engineering is valuable to everyone, no matter who you are or what you, do by providing a variety of engineering role models pulled from Needham families and community members, including both engineers and non-engineers.​

3.    Engaging families and community members in Needham’s Science curriculum, forging deeper relationships and greater community involvement.



What kinds of activities does Let’s Build offer to students?
Let’s Build's design challenge activities are hands-on, problem solving activities intended to support both the engineering design process and Needham’s existing curriculum.  Activities across grades will include the idea that trial, error, and failure are all part of the engineering design process.

Each activity in grades 1-5 focus on energy and reinforces science curriculum taught at the previous grade level.



Why ask community members to teach engineering?

The National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) states that parental involvement in science learning “… is crucial to their children’s interest in and ability to learn science. Research shows that when parents play an active role, their children achieve greater success as learners, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ own level of education (PTA 1999; Henderson and Mapp 2002; Pate and Andrews 2006). Furthermore, the more intensely parents are involved, the more confident and engaged their children are as learners and the more beneficial the effects on their achievement (Cotton and Wikelund 2001).”  To read more, visit

Who can participate?
Anyone!  No need to be an engineer.  Volunteers receive training in Let’s Build activities and working with children.  We are all engineers in life and everyone is welcome to volunteer after filing a CORI form with the Needham Public Schools.

For more information contact Liz Lee and Sophia Buckley at