Friday, March 13, 2015

Engineering Fridays

Well, Fridays OFFICIALLY rule!

We are now having Engineering Fridays. So every Friday, until the end of the school year, our days are dedicated to designing, problem solving, creating and testing. We have done a few science experiments and math based problems in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) books, but this was our first official go at engineering in kindergarten! 
Mrs. Baer and I got together and created the STEM books to incorporate some more hands-on learning in our classrooms! Each Friday our Engineering day will be focused around a specific book and a design problem that was in the book. 

Today  read the book "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." We discussed the problem that they had in the story and what qualities make a good bridge. We concluded in order to make a good bridge it needed to be: 
1. Strong
2. Long (at least 18" to get from table to table)
3. Have side supports
4. Straight 

We knew our bridge needed to pass 2 tests: 
1. Support the weight of 3 billy goats (Schleich figurines) 
2. Get a moveable car across the bridge 
First We had to Design our Bridges - looking both at our materials and the length of the bridge.

Then we spent 35 minutes creating our bridges. Most students wanted and needed more time that that, but we decided that engineers work on projects for weeks, months and even years, so this was just our "first" testing round. 

First we had to test the bridges to see if they would support our 3 billy goats. 

Then we tested our bridges to see if they could hold the weight of a car and if the car could get from point A to Point B without falling off. This is where it was really important to have a straight bridge with some sort of side rails! 

Overall the day was a HUGE success! We had all 19 bridges support 3 billy goats AND 10 bridges were strong and straight enough to get the cars across! It was pretty impressive engineering! We cannot wait until our next Fun Friday! 

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