During this cycle, students learned about Engineering and the Engineering Design Process. They learned that Engineers think creatively about solving problems and responding to challenges that exist in our world. Students also learned that engineers follow the steps of the Design Process to solve these problems: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve.
Students began the cycle with a quick challenge: The Racecar Challenge
Mission: To build a ramp that will send your racecar the furthest distance across the room.
Materials: 1 miniature racecar, building blocks, cardboard
After completing the challenge, they analyzed the steps they took to respond to it and the character traits they needed to be successful engineers.
They were then presented with another challenge: The Zip Line Challenge
Mission: To work in teams to build a device that can safely carry a plastic golf ball from the top of a zip line to the bottom in less than four seconds.
Materials: Cardboard, 4 small paper cups, plastic golf ball, 4 straws, scissors, hole punch, tape, 4 washers, 4 craft sticks
Using the steps of the Engineering Design Process, they worked in groups to complete the challenge.
On the last day, students presented their solutions and reflected on their work. As a group, they defined what it means to be an engineer, and the character traits needed to be successful.