Third Grade Design Challenge: Trimester 2

In third grade, students were learning about how the earth’s materials can be broken down or combined.  Students learned about rocks, minerals, the rock cycle, formation of soil and sand, and analyzed how some of these can be usable resources for human activity. In addition, students also focused on important people in the community and then identified people or events that held importance in their own lives.  Students were asked to design a monument honoring someone or something important to them, using multiple types of the earth’s resources to build it. Students made connections between earth materials and the materials used to build monuments.  They developed empathy for the difficulties involved in extracting materials from the earth for human usage. As students worked hard to create beautiful AND sturdy monuments, testing and feedback occurred naturally.  As legs collapsed, or materials did not hold together, students used tools and engineering principles to create structures that would meet their needs. The respect students developed for the Earth was an exciting outcome to witness, as was the empathy they developed for others.