Fourth Grade Engineers

In September 2013, Longmont experienced a flood event that was categorized as a “1000 year flood.” Ten percent of the students at Longmont Estates were evacuated from their homes, and all the citizens of Longmont felt the effects of the flood for months, if not years. This month, current fourth grade students in Mrs. Rickman’s class, who were in 2nd grade at the time, used the Design Thinking Process to engineer ways to protect the City of Longmont and it’s residents from a future flood. In their reading lessons, they read about floods to gain more understanding. They gained empathy by interviewing Mrs. Shaffer, who had personal experience of being evacuated and losing belongings during the flood. Next, they continued working through the design process and brought their ideas to life with models. One group created an underground train system, powered by magnets, that would pull people up to the top of a mountain to safety. All of the ideas were based on what they had learned in their readings, the empathy they developed, and their personal experiences. It’s another great example of making learning relevant at Longmont Estates.