Engineering Vocabulary for Kids


Engineering is an incredibly broad field that covers everything from designing buildings to crafting video games. Knowing the correct engineering terms can help kids understand this field better, and using them can help them communicate more effectively.

In this article, we will provide an introduction to the basic engineering vocabulary for kids to become more familiar with core engineering concepts.

Definition of engineering

Engineering is the practice of using scientific and mathematical methods to solve real-world problems. The field of engineering encompasses a wide range of disciplines and activities, ranging from the design and construction of buildings and bridges to the development of computer systems, aircraft, trains, automobiles, medical instruments, and more. It requires a variety of skills and abilities—critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication—to come up with creative solutions to challenging issues.

Engineering has played an important role throughout history in the evolution of technology. From early advancements in agricultural engineering—like irrigation systems for water runoff management—to modern medical advances that have revolutionized healthcare around the world—engineering has helped shape our world into what it is today.

In addition to its practical applications, learning about engineering can also be fun for kids! Introducing engineering concepts can help children develop their own problem-solving abilities while teaching them valuable information that they can use throughout their lives.

Benefits of engineering

Engineering offers students the chance to learn about how the world works and apply what they’ve learned in real-life settings. It is a versatile field that requires deep problem-solving skills and creative thinking. Those who become engineers can make meaningful contributions to their project teams, from discovering solutions to complex challenges to creating innovative products.

The benefits of learning engineering at a young age go far beyond technical abilities. Engineering can help students develop critical thinking skills by asking them to encounter a problem, identify possible solutions, and carefully consider which way would be most effective for addressing the issue. Furthermore, engineering teaches children about collaboration as many projects require groups of people working together towards a common goal. Additionally, engineering encourages imaginative play as kids will have time throughout their studies to explore ideas and use their imaginations while developing prototypes or objects.

Finally, engineering provides an avenue for kids to discover new interests outside of the traditional school subjects. Through activities such as robotics or coding projects, students get the opportunity to explore more unconventional topics like computer programming or 3D printing that allow them to create something from their own imagination – helping them develop unique skillsets that complement the knowledge already gained in school.

Types of Engineering

Engineering is a field of study where people apply scientific and mathematical principles to solve complex problems and develop useful products and systems. From chemical engineering to civil engineering, there is a wide array of engineering disciplines, each requiring a different type of skillset.

In this section, let’s explore the different kinds of engineering and their associated vocabulary.

Civil engineering

Civil engineering is the branch of engineering focused on designing, constructing and managing public works and infrastructure. Civil engineers design bridges, roads, dams, water and energy systems, buildings, airports and more. They typically have a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field.

Some types of civil engineering projects include residential housing developments, public transportation systems such as highways and railroads, commercial buildings and recreational facilities. Civil engineers are also responsible for understanding the needs of their clients and developing innovative solutions to complex problems.

Civil engineers must be familiar with a range of topics including structural analysis, mathematics, surveying principles, geology, soil mechanics, risk management and construction materials. Traditional civil engineering projects are divided into two categories — design & build or design-bid-build (DBB). Design-build projects involve an architecture firm working with the engineer to create plans that meet the client’s requirements while being conscious of cost constraints. In contrast to DBB projects where contractors bid on finished plans created by the engineer/architect team.

Civil engineers collaborate with city planners, landscape architects, environment scientists, surveyors and other professionals throughout the entire project life cycle — from conception to completion. They may also monitor site construction activities for compliance with safety regulations, evaluate documentation for accuracy & completeness or work with local governments to acquire permits or acquire easements. Finally they commission all new works before its use is approved by regulatory agencies.

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is a field of engineering that combines science, mathematics, and technology to design, manufacture and maintain machines. It is a broad field of study, from cars to spacecrafts, from medical devices to airplanes, from pumps and valves to robots. Mechanical engineers design and build these machines using various materials such as metals, plastic and composites. They also have the skills needed to repair them when they break down or malfunction. Mechanical engineers also use their knowledge of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to develop efficient energy sources, like electric motors and generators.

Mechanical engineers use CAD (Computer Aided Design) extensively in the design process for creating parts for new machines. They also analyze materials for strength and durability before incorporating them into their projects. Mechanical engineers may also be involved in production systems planning activities such as cost analysis or selection of equipment that meets safety guidelines set by government agencies. As mechanical engineers gain experience they may branch out into designing or managing entire systems instead of individual components or products.

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. It covers a wide range of subfields including electronic circuits, optoelectronics, power engineering, communications and control systems. Electrical engineers find applications in areas such as electric power generation, transmission and distribution; electrical system design; instrumentation and control; consumer electronics; computers and telecommunications networks.

In addition to the core electrical engineering curriculum, students may also be exposed to a variety of other topics related to the field such as mathematics, physics and computer engineering. Electrical engineers are involved in all stages of development from conception to operation, maintenance and repair. They may be called upon to architect new solutions or test existing ones for safety or performance efficiency. Examples of projects can range from equipment design for communication satellites to wiring up an automated manufacturing line in a factory.

Depending on the scale of project(s) they are assigned, electrical engineers may work alone on small scale projects or lead teams for large-scale ones that involve numerous stakeholders such as government agencies or private companies. The scope can vary greatly from operating a single device (e.g., light switch) to designing the power system for an entire city!

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies physical science (e.g., chemistry and physics), life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry),together with applied mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy. A chemical engineer designs large-scale processes that convert chemicals, raw materials, living cells, microorganisms and energy into useful forms and products.

Chemical engineering employs principles of thermodynamics to analyze the performance of a chemical process or unit operation such as distillation or heat exchange systems; fluid dynamics to analyze the flow through pumps, pipes or other parts of a system; statistical mechanics for describing the behavior of macroscopic systems using randomly distributed elements; process control to interactively adjust process parameters for proper operation; reaction kinetics for studying the rate of reaction under certain controlled parameters; separations for separate substances from solutions by distillation or absorptionprocesses; environmental engineering to help mitigate environmental risks posed by manufacturing operations.

Chemical engineers design processes used in numerous industries where they are typically employed in the production of fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel as well as non-fuel products like pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibers, foods and plastics. As such they are often involved in activities ranging from administering safety protocols in hazardous waste removal facilities to developing alternative sources of renewable energy including biofuels.

Biomedical engineering

Biomedical engineering is a field of study that focuses on applying engineering principles to solve problems related to health care. It combines the knowledge of engineering and biology with technology, mathematics and physics to develop solutions that improve diagnosis, detection, treatment and prevention of diseases.

Biomedical engineers are responsible for designing and developing medical equipment such as artificial organs, prostheses, x-ray machines and lasers used in surgery, as well as developing sophisticated medical imaging systems. This includes creating new methods to diagnose, monitor or treat conditions such as cancer or heart disease; improving existing healthcare treatments by substituting laboratory experiments with computer simulations; and designing devices such as pacemakers, MRIs and ultrasound machines.

Some of the major career paths for biomedical engineers include: designing medical instruments; designing implants; working in gerontology or rehabilitative engineering; anatomical engineering; occupational health safety; pharmacological research; molecular analysis equipment design; software development for healthcare use applications.

A degree in biomedical engineering provides an excellent foundation for further specialization within the profession at both academic or industry level. A combination of academic qualifications combined with professional experience is highly desirable when developing a rewarding career path in this area of expertise.


Learning engineering vocabulary can be an invaluable resource for kids. Understanding the meaning of words related to engineering can help kids to better explore the world they live in and understand how things work.

Here, we will explore some of the key terminology related to engineering, including definitions and examples.


Design is a fundamental part of engineering, which involves the application of mathematics, sciences, and the art of creating solutions to problems. Design is a powerful tool for understanding and solving real-world problems. It allows engineers to develop creative approaches and find innovative solutions. The goal of design is to create a product or process that solves a certain problem or improves an existing solution.

Design concepts are often based on research and experiments, which involve observations, mapping out processes, looking at existing solutions, and consulting with experts in the field. These activities help engineers get insights into the nature of the problem and design possible solutions that are suitable for its context. Through trial and error, designers identify elements that work well together as well as features that may not be necessary. After identifying the specific components needed to create an effective solution, engineers determine how these components will interact with one another and how they should be integrated in order to construct a successful product or process.


In engineering, a prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users.

Prototyping enables designers and developers to test functionality, user-friendliness, appearance, manufacturing level components, as well as overall longevity of the product. It allows for easier changes which can be made before the product reaches its final form. This helps design teams save money and resources by avoiding costly re-dos if the product has flaws during initial production runs due to miscalculated specifications. Prototyping also makes it easier for designers and developers to bring ideas physically into the world faster.

In engineering projects with large scale designs such as robots or cars it is often difficult to fully comprehend all of its components without actually having something tangible in front of them—the prototype allows engineers an opportunity to better visualize their products during development stages by providing insight into areas which may need improvement or even alternative designs altogether in order maximize usability and efficiency. Prototypes also make it possible for small start-up companies or individuals with limited resources who wouldn’t be able to financially make full sized conceptual products by allowing them instead create smaller scaled models which will still enable them gain insight for future designs paired with budget friendly expenses.


It is essential for children to gain an understanding of engineering terminology in order to build a foundation for further learning. Test is a general engineering term which refers to a systematic examination of something (such as a product, material, or process) in order to determine its performance and capabilities. This differs from assessment, which assesses the current performance or capabilities of something.

Test methods used in engineering can vary depending on the type of material being tested, but generally may include element testing, strength testing, fatigue testing, environmental stress testing and destructive testing. Element tests examine mechanical properties such as hardness and toughness; strength tests are designed to evaluate the breaking point or other mechanical properties; fatigue tests measure characteristics such as ductility and elasticity; environmental stress tests are performed under temperatures or humidity conditions; destructive tests check for defects by inducing failure modes in controlled conditions. Different types of apparatus may be used depending on the application; common examples include tensile testers, universal testers, torsion testers and impact testers.

It is important that children familiarize themselves with these terms early on so they can more easily understand the design principles behind engineering projects later on! Therefore this glossary provides basic definitions that can help children learn more about test methods used in engineering contexts.


Experimenting is an important part of engineering and the scientific process for investigating how the world works. Experimenting allows engineers to ask questions, develop hypotheses, observe results through data collection, draw conclusions, and create new designs.

An experiment involves a process of methodology used to gain information and answer questions. It requires careful planning and recording of results to obtain meaningful data that can be analyzed accurately. Careful attention must be paid to collecting accurate measurements when conducting experiments, as well as modifying experiments as needed if difficulties are encountered or unexpected results arise.

In the engineering field, experiments may involve model building (using LEGO bricks) to test concepts such as building structures that can hold their own weight or withstand wind pressure. Experiments can also delve into areas such as robotics programming and circuit design with components such as LEDs, transistors, resistors (basic circuits) to complex integrated chips such as micro controllers used in hobby electronics systems like Raspberry Pi3/4 or Arduino Uno/Mega boards. Experiments may also include designing solar powered cars with electric batteries, testing aerodynamics models with wind tunnel testing stands or exploring material properties such as strength, ductility (able to bend) or tensile strength in 3D printing materials.

In order for an experiment to be successful careful attention must be paid not only in constructing it properly but also by completing each step of the experiment systematically – from hypothesis formulating all the way through analyzing end results – so that valid conclusions can be reached based on credible evidence obtained from the experimental process!


Analyze is a verb that is used in many fields of study, but it has a very specific meaning when used in engineering. To analyze, means to break something down into its component parts and understand what each part does and how those parts come together to form the whole. In engineering, this process involves examining and evaluating the behavior of objects or systems to determine the outcome, performance attributes, capabilities or effects. It requires having an understanding of both the mechanics and philosophy behind design. Analyzing data from experiments can then lead to conclusions which can be used as advice when making future design decisions.

By teaching children how to analyze different designs and construction methods they are able to make more educated decisions when designing their own projects, as well as apply that analytical knowledge across multiple engineering subjects. This can create interest in a variety of fields such as computer science, robotics or even simple circuitry designs. Using analytical skills at an early age can help familiarize children with engineering concepts but also give them the confidence they need in order to pursue burgeoning fields with ease.


Building is the process of making or constructing materials into a structure. Building is a major part of an engineer’s job and involves using creativity, problem solving and coordination to construct a project.

Building usually starts with an initial design or plan, which is typically drawn out or modeled virtually. Once the design is created, an engineer will sketch out details for each individual piece that makes up the project and how they will fit together.

After the pieces have been cut out and brought to their proper place, they must be assembled and connected securely in order for them to function properly in the completed product. After building is complete, engineers often test their projects to make sure they meet design goals and standards before they move onto production.


In conclusion, learning engineering vocabulary can be a great way for kids to get a better understanding of the engineering world. It can help them to understand how different machines work, as well as how to assemble and operate them.

By teaching engineering vocabulary to children, it can also help them to become more interested in the engineering field. Thus, encouraging them to pursue a career in engineering.

Summary of engineering

Engineering is a field of science focused on the design and creation of useful products that have a practical application in the world. Engineering involves problem-solving, identifying solutions, and creating ways to make those solutions happen through research and collaboration. By studying how things were made in the past and how the natural world behaves, engineers can apply this knowledge to come up with efficient, cost-effective solutions for current problems.

The types of engineering vary greatly depending on what type of job or project you’re working on. Mechanical engineering deals with manipulating machines and materials to solve problems; electrical engineering focuses on creating circuits and devices that power items like cell phones; civil engineering projects involve building roads and bridges; computer engineering creates software programs for various applications; chemical engineering explores new types of plastics or other materials for different uses.

To become an engineer, one must obtain a degree in their chosen specialisation by completing a three or four year degree program at university or technical school. It is also important to obtain certifications related to your specialty as well as continuing education opportunities periodically while working in order to stay up-to-date with advances in technology. With hard work and dedication, doctors of engineering create innovative solutions that improve our everyday lives.

Benefits of learning engineering vocabulary

Learning engineering vocabulary helps students understand some of the science and technologies used in the industry. By exposing children to such words, they can gain a greater appreciation for the complexities and principles of engineering. Having a basic understanding of these concepts can help guide children when they decide what fields they may want to pursue in college. It is beneficial to introduce them to various engineering vocabularies so that they are able to make knowledgeable decisions when exploring available career options.

In addition, having a strong vocabulary helps students develop better critical thinking skills. By being familiar with certain terms, they are more likely to discover patterns or draw conclusions based upon their observations. Studying engineering vocabularies also allows children to better understand how different components function together and how changes can affect the outcome of an experiment or design project. Being knowledgeable about these terms also boosts student engagement and interest in the subject matter as well as encourages active participation during class discussions or laboratory experiments!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a tool used in engineering?

A1: A tool used in engineering could be anything from a screwdriver to a 3D printer.

Q2: What is a CAD program?

A2: CAD stands for Computer Aided Design and is used by engineers to create models and designs by using a computer.

Q3: What is a prototype?

A3: A prototype is a prototype version of a product or device created by engineers for testing and evaluation.

Leave a Reply
Previous Article

Engineering for Homeschoolers

Next Article

Inspiring Young Engineers

Related Posts