What You Need to Know About Curiosity

Curiosity is a component of the entrepreneurial mindset. It is the first of what we call the 3C’s (Curiosity, Connections, Creating Value). 

For engineers to succeed in a world with rapidly changing needs and tools, they need a sense of curiosity. Faculty who instill a spirit of curiosity equip students to create extraordinary results.

You can be curious about a big thing. "I wonder if a person could walk on the moon." 

You can be curious about a small thing. "I wonder if we could prevent socks from clinging together in the dryer."

Big or small, questioning leads us to solutions. Too little curiosity in the classroom can cause boredom. Too much can create anxiety. How do you reach the right balance?

Community-Created Resources

Controlled, directed, and productive curiosity is at the root of discovery. Use this starter pack of resources shared by faculty:



What do we mean?

Curiosity is invaluable for uncovering essential and unexpected information that shapes engineering solutions to their maximum potential.


A tool for increasing student curiosity

Assess and increase student intrinsic motivation and self regulation on specific tasks with this vetted tool.
Electrical circuits and QFT


Question Formulation Technique

A traditional electric circuits course can spark the entrepreneurial mindset with just a few key enhancements.

Yellow Interval

Analyzing Curiosity

Examine assumptions and anecdotes

Storytelling, guided discussions, and stage-setting leads students through a vibrant, investigative project.
Assessing Engineering Curiosity

Assessing Curiosity

In entrepreneurially minded learning

Find out how the Ohio State University used the 5-Dimensional Curiosity Scale to develop and implement a comprehensive assessment plan in a first-year engineering course.

Driving Curiosity

Question-based applications

Create question-driven and impactful interventions to drive academic and career successes based on Warren Berger's book, "A More Beautiful Question."
Curiosity globe

More Resources

The Engineering Unleashed community provides many tested resources that help you teach curiosity in your classroom!

Curiosity: A Fundamental Motivator

Do you believe curiosity is an effort of will?

Mythbusters co-host, Jamie Hyneman, does. 

“[Curiosity] is something that’s effectively creativity at its core," he states. "It’s underappreciated as far as engineering is concerned. Engineering is something that pervades our entire lives. Engineers need to be curious. That’s the hard part and the most valuable part.”

The more you expose students to situations that stimulate their curiosity, the more curiosity becomes a mental habit.

So what can faculty do to inspire curiosity in students? 

Dr. Margot Vigeant (Bucknell University) shares the results of being purposefully curious about curiosity to better understand how well faculty were fostering the entrepreneurial mindset. 

As faculty, we want to deliberately create situations where it's more likely our students will be curious and self-motivated.  Above anything else, students are inspired by "real problems."

More Mindset Learning



The second "C"

Interdisciplinary connection-making is essential to the advancement of knowledge. Help students build a mindset that connects context, systems, data, and even experiences!
Creating Value

Creating Value

The third "C"

Teaching your students the importance of creating value helps redirect their mindset and motivation--leading to more impactful engineering solutions.
KEEN Framework Bicycle

The Framework

A downloadable guide

Help students understand the importance of opportunity and impact in the context of design with this adoptable, adaptable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning.
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