The second and third graders are learning about the engineering design process. For the past few days they have been attempting to build a structure and make it as tall as possible. The only materials they were allowed to use were mini marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti.
As a class we went through the first two steps of the engineering design process. First we “asked” questions about the project and the requirements. Next we “imagined” possibilities about how to solve the problem. Then students worked with a partner to “plan” their structure. The students needed to draw a diagram before they could begin the actual construction.
The “create” step was next. Groups were able get their structures between 13 and 18 inches tall. Finally, students reached the “improve” step. In order to do this they reflected on what they had done and worked to make improvements. During the “improve” step, students recognized that they needed to work on stability in order make it taller. After this stage, the tallest structure was 23 inches!
We are looking forward to many engineering projects this year!