Thursday, September 15, 2016

Saving Sam: Kicking off the Engineering Thread in Moore County

Sam the Snake is in DEEP trouble.  While boating on the lake, a strong wave crashed through and capsized his boat.  Sam can't swim, but luckily he was able to climb on top of the boat.  But unfortunately for old Sam, while he frantically searched for his life preserver he realized it was under his capsized boat....

The materials students (and teachers) use- Sam (gummy worm), life preserver (Gummy life saver), a boat (cup), and 2 paper clips (one for each partner)
I saved Sam!
Over the past few weeks, the Digital Integration Facilitator (DIF) team has been busily working to introduce the engineering process to our K-5 students through the Saving Sam activity, where students are paired up, each given a paper clip, and asked to save Sam with several constraints- Sam can't touch the water, you can't STAB poor Sam, and you must retrieve the life preserver and put it on Sam's body using ONLY 2 paper clips.

The engineering process has become a focal point in Moore County Schools, as we've worked to create an engineering thread that weaves throughout our science and math pacing guides in grades K-5.  Our overall purpose is to introduce the engineering process to students, focus on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, develop students who understand that failed attempts are natural parts of any learning process, and demystify the term "engineer" so that it is accessible to all students regardless of background, race, or gender.

The lessons are designed as mini, 2-3 day projects.  In an effort to bring our rich robotics program into more classrooms, each grade level has an engineering project that involves robotics as well as one that utilize more traditional materials (such as gummy works and paper clips!).  All engineering projects are housed in Google Slides and are shared freely with any that would like to utilize them:

Kindergarten:    Huff and Puff Engineering          Dashing Through Obstacles
1st Grade:          Shadow Engineering                    Dash to 100!
2nd Grade:         Too Hot!                                       Robot Bowling
3rd Grade:          Eggbert                                        Marshmallow Catapult
4th Grade:          Spaghetti Tower Challenge          Animal Adaptations
5th Grade:          Hot Diggity Dog House               Human Body Tour

We look forward to working with our students and teachers to bring the engineering process to all, this year and beyond!  Thank you to all the teachers and DIFs that are working hard to provide these opportunities for our students!

-Steve Johnson

No comments:

Post a Comment