This is a challenging week to hold the attention of elementary students. We try to capitalize on their energy and excitement. This week, our director of technology integration organized a design challenge where students, given a limited number of supplies including straws, popsicle sticks, three feet of masking tape, a sheet of paper, and index cards, had to build a structure for Wilbur the pig that would survive the huff and puff of the big bad wolf.
Students, who worked in teams of four to five, spent the early moments of the challenge designing structures independently. Then they shared their ideas and decided which design elements they would incorporate into the team design. Then in the remaining minutes, the team built and tested their structures. They tested against the wind force of a hair dryer. Finally, fourth-grade students were called up to test their structures against the Big Bad Wolf which was no longer a hair dryer but a high powered fan.
At the conclusion of the challenge, students were asked to reflect on their experiences. We used FlipGrid to capture their thinking. They were asked, "what went well?", "what would you do differently if you had the opportunity to repeat the task?" and "did you enjoy designing with your team?"
My big take-aways;
Check out the pics below. You can see the joy.