By DONNA BURROUGHS
EdS, Superintendent, Triton Community School Corporation
Triton Elementary third grade students have been working to learn the scientific process and how it is alike and different compared to the engineering process.
The class worked on solving a real world problem about a local pool needing lifeguard chairs for safety before they can open.
For this challenge students needed to look at the client, end user, and constraints before coming up with a design to meet all of the criteria necessary to solve the problem.
After identifying all of the necessary components, they drew designs in their science notebooks, compared their designs with a partner, and then created a “together” design in their notebooks with the best ideas each partner had.
Students them moved on to building prototypes to match their designs, and then tested their success by placing lifeguards (small stuffed animals) on the chairs to see if they were sturdy as well as tall enough. Some of the prototypes worked out well while others did not; just the way it works in real life.
The final step for this activity was for students to discuss why some lifeguard chairs worked while others did not and to add these reflections to their science notebooks.
Everyone did a great job on this first challenge and will have many more to work on as new state standards are learned and they apply their learning to a new engineering challenge!