Summer SAVY 2018: Session 3, Day 1 – Engineering Solutions (Rising 1st)
We had a wonderful first day. After getting to know each other, we began with a pre-assessment concept map on “System” to understand the pre-existing depth of knowledge our students have regarding the concept of system. This will help gauge what students already know and guide the course.
Since we are designing solutions to problems and learning the use the engineering process, I wanted to investigate what students think technology is. When I asked students to tell me their perspective of what technology was, most students said it was, as I hypothesized, that it only included things that had batteries or electricity. I then had items in a mystery bag and each student got to pull out an item and evaluate whether their item was an example of technology or a non-example. The items included were everyday items such as, zip-lock baggie, microwaveable popcorn, scissors, rubber band, chip clips, chop-sticks, 3-D glasses, twisty-tie, remote control, magnetized refrigerator clip and pencil eraser with a brush on the bottom. Initially, when each student presented their item and what they thought, we heard evidence such as, “it is not technology because it does not plug into the wall or have a battery.” Then someone shared that a pair of scissors was an example of technology because it made cutting easier, but it did not have a battery or plug into the wall. Eventually, students were able to write a definition of technology as something that is manmade and solves a problem or makes thing easier to do. Ask your student about their definition! When the light bulb went off, students went up and down the hallway finding evidence of technology everywhere! They were so excited. That would be a great dinner table discussion tonight!
We moved into a discussion about what an engineer is and what engineers do. Thanks to having a couple of parents who are engineers, we were able to talk about the engineering process and that engineers solve problems or create improvement and new things. We also began to discuss what a system is in regards to the pollination system. Students were able to relate to the parts of the pollination system due to their background knowledge but had not up to this point made the connection of it being a system. So, each of our scientist/engineers got their engineering design notebooks and out we went to search for evidence in nature of the parts of the pollination system. I was so excited to hear students referring to the pollination system when they would identify a part of the system such as when someone saw a butterfly and when we saw flowering plants and leaves that had been chewed by an insect. Students drew pictures and made notes. We collected natural evidence in our bug collector and headed back to the classroom to look at the items we brought back under the microscope! I brought in dried bee pollen and students really enjoyed looking at it up close!
We ended class by reading our book Mariana Becomes a Butterfly. This really got students thinking about our engineering solution and design component. Students all said they were going to want to go home and find natural animals in the pollination system at home and bring things in tomorrow. If anyone can bring in live ladybugs, we will be talking about them tomorrow and this would be a wonderful up close look! All finds are welcome in containers!! Can’t wait until tomorrow for more learning and excitement!
Highlights from Our Day