Engineering Week with Alpine 3rd Graders

Stem School

Engineers build some of the world’s largest structures, from highways and bridges to dams and airports. Planning is a large part of their job. Third graders are learning that cycles allow us to make predictions about our world. During engineering week, they focused on how the cycle of planning, building, and testing, combined with specific materials and constraints, can affect what they are building. Students were engaged in a bridge building activity that involved specific materials and the design cycle. Just like a civil engineer, students planned their design before they were allowed to begin using the materials. Their plan was their blueprint. Then, just like builders must follow plans, students had to follow the plans they created, WITHOUT the ability to communicate with and clarify for others in their team! Once the bridges were completed, they were allowed to test them to see if their plan was successful. Students had to collaborate and communicate in new ways, extending their understanding of 21st Century Skills.