The youth of La Makerspace have been hard at work learning about engineering design!
Our kindergartners were tasked with building a bridge out of blocks that could span a small paper "river". After experimenting with the structures they could create with the blocks, they got to work figuring out how to design a bridge. They drew out their ideas first, then used those blueprints as a guide once it came time to physically build their bridges.
First and second graders also had to make a bridge out of sheets of paper and masking tape to cross a five-foot chasm between two chairs--they they had to get it to hold piles of blocks!
Fifth, sixth, and seventh graders design and build a cardboard "grabber", a device that could pick up a cup of water from four inches away. They all had a chance to test their grabbers, find any problems in their design, and think of ways to fix problems they found.
The main question each grade was trying to answer was “What do engineers do?”
When we asked the youth what engineers do, they had this to say:
“Engineers work really hard to try building things so they won’t break.” (Design)
“If their idea doesn’t work, they do it again and again.” (Iterate)
“They make buildings stronger with teamwork.” (Refine)
“They take pictures of other engineers’ stuff, to get ideas." (Document)
Sounds like they’re well on their way to graduate school.
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