Use this template as a planning tool to create design challenges to engage children in “tinkering, making, and engineering” experiences.

Due: Midnight Sunday of Unit 4. KEY ASSESSMENT

Use this template as a planning tool to create design challenges to engage children in “tinkering, making, and engineering” experiences.

1) Identify a picture book in which the character(s) have a problem to solve.
 Examples: A. The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone B. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

2) What is the problem in the story? Examples: A. Three billy goats want to go up a hillside to eat some grass. But they have to cross a bridge to get there, and under the bridge lives a mean, ugly old troll who wants to eat them. B. Max is sent to bed without any supper and takes off on an imaginative adventure in a forest, on an island whose inhabitants are “wild things”. Max needs shelter to sleep.

3) What materials do you think the children need to solve the problem? 
 Examples: A. Craft sticks, drinking straws, toothpicks, paper, newspaper, straw, clay, paper clips, tape, scissors, glue, measuring tape, and a balance scale. B. Paper, sticks, toothpicks, scissors, glue, clay, yarn or string, fabric scraps, tissue paper, waxed paper

4) How could you encourage children to tinker with the materials? Examples: A. Tinker with making bridges out of materials like craft sticks, toothpicks, straws, paper, rolled up newspaper, or clay. How will you hold the materials together? Which materials seem stronger than others? B. Looking at these materials, how do you think we can build a shelter large enough for Max and his “wild thing friends” and strong enough to withstand the wind? What things here would be best for building a tent?

5) What is the challenge for children? Examples:
 A. Making: Build a troll-proof bridge that stands on its own so the goats can cross the river. Engineering: Build a troll-proof bridge that spans at least 10 inches and supports at least five pounds. B. Making: The problem is that he has to build a shelter. Engineering: The shelter must be large enough for the wild things and strong enough to withstand the ocean breeze.

6. How can you engage families in their enrichment to form intentional educational connections within the family and community? Prior to the learning experience, inform families (written and verbal) about the design challenge. Explain key concepts, the “design loop” and materials you will be using. Ask families to help collect home-found and/or community-found materials. Provide vocabulary from the book and design loop process that will help families to have those connecting communications with the concepts you are planning for the children.

CHS250 – STEM in ECE Engineering Design Challenge Planning Template

Now, individualize these steps to reflect the book you’ve selected and the problem that needs to be solved. For ideas, see “What You Need to Know about Tinkering, Making, and Engineering” on pages 1-19.

Step 1: Think about it. Example: You may want to draw or sketch your plan before you begin. —Give children paper and pencil to sketch a draft of how they would design the tent. Provide fliers and pictures of tents and shelters.

Step 2: Build or create it. Example: Use the materials to build or construct the solution to your problems. —Put out the materials and allow the kids to construct their tents. Step 3: Try it. Example: How can you test your idea? Does it do what you want it to do? —Children test by trying to fit 3 people blocks and put it in front of fan on low speed to see if can withstand the breeze. Step 4: Revise or make it better. Example: What could you do or change to make it better? —Talk with children about how we can make them stronger or bigger.

Step 5: Share. Example: Show your project to other people and demonstrate how it works. Ask them what they might do to solve the problem. Listen to their ideas. —Do your friends have any ideas that might help?

What questions or comments might you use to scaffold the children’s ideas? Looking at the tents, brainstorm ideas and pros and cons of each construction. If we wanted to make it stronger what could we use?

What additional challenges might help children think more deeply about the problem? Discuss the properties of the materials such as strength, weight bearing, glue vs. tape, water resistant, etc.

Which STEM concepts are supported by the design challenge?

 Science: velocity of the fan

 Technology: photos

 Engineering: building the shelter

 Math: counting and measuring for proper size Family and Community Engagement

 State how will you help children’s families understand the book-based design challenge. o Describe the steps in critical thinking while problem solving an authentic dilemma.

 Provide a couple examples of materials families can find in their homes and/or community that connect to the design challenge.

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