During this cycle, the students learned about Engineering and the Engineering Design Process. They learned that Engineers are creative problem solvers. The students also learned the steps of the Design Process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create and Improve. The Second Graders used the Design Process to complete a challenge.
The students began the cycle with a quick challenge of solving everyday problems such as: Your ball went over a big fence and landed two feet away. You need to get it back but you can’t climb over the fence or walk around the fence.
After completing the everyday problems challenge, the students reviewed the steps they took to respond to the challenge. They also discussed the character traits they needed to be successful.
They were then presented with another challenge: The Marshmallow Challenge
Challenge: To build a tall, freestanding structure using pasta that can support a marshmallow.
Materials: 1 large marshmallow, 1 yard of string, 1 yard of masking tape, and 20 pieces of spaghetti
Using the steps of the Engineering Design Process, the students worked on the challenge in small groups.
The groups shared their ideas, solutions and reflected on their work. Through this challenge the student engineers learned the character traits needed to be a successful engineer.