First of all, a few years back 3 teachers in my building went to training for these engineering units. They received a couple and while teaching 3rd grade, I joined in on the fun. Let me just tell you, I LOVE these units. They are all problem-based projects where students have to work together to determine the best way to design or create an object to solve the problem.
Below are some pictures from our Sailboats and Windmills projects where my students had to inquire about building blades that would rotate with the wind energy. The wind comes from a box fan for consistency of test runs, and so that you aren't relying on your own weather, but they put their blades into a styrofoam ball, and then onto the juice carton (last picture).
There are tons of different units that you can check out at their website here that range from civil engineering to green engineering to aquatic engineering!
My students have always loved doing these units, but we only had one or two and they were for 3rd and 4th grade. Here is the good news for all of you!!
I wrote 2 grants to help my school so that we could get more resources for each grade level, and allow more classrooms to get involved!
1. My district foundation offers fall and spring grants for up to $2,000. That was my first place to go. I wrote a grant to ask for two different units for each grade level, for a total of 8 units. Each teacher will get the manual and picture book to accompany it! This was only about $1200! I found out a few weeks ago that I got this grant, and my school is pumped about the abounding critical thinking, problem-based projects our school will be investigating! It's also going to help with our transition from content-based science standards to process-based standards that focus on the Design Process (which is central to these units)!
Want to write your own grant? Check out mine here for free!
2. After writing this grant, I knew that my building would implement these units better if someone was officially trained. After looking through their website, I came across a Scholarship from Raytheon that was worth $3,000 and would cover two days of training, sub costs, and travel expenses to the Museum of Science in BOSTON!!! Needless to say, when I got my letter in the mail saying I was a lucky girl, I was WAAAAAAYYY excited about going to Boston!
In part of this application, you need to respond to 4 questions, so I added that to TpT too! You will see some of my research is the same for both, but they went to two different organizations. Why create more work?
I hope you think that Engineering is Elementary is worth checking out! My students absolutely LOVE the units, and I can't wait to unveil more units next year and get all of our students involved in "Engineering talk". Just think what a parent would say if their child went home and said, "I want to be an agricultural engineer!" Awesome!
Okay, I'm getting wordy, but visit back later this week for my first GIVEAWAY! I can't wait, and I think you'll want to be a part of it!
Over and out...