Today we presented our scientists with another STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) challenge about erosion and weathering. The students worked in teams to build a design to slow or prevent wind and rain from changing the shape of sand dunes. We created replicas of a beach with sand dunes in plastic trays. Each team then scoured the playground for materials for a design to protect their dunes, keeping in mind the beauty of the beach and its surroundings. We also supplied each team with some clay and craft sticks. Every design then faced the elements- wind (some natural, some from a blow drier) and rain and waves from a watering can. As you can imagine, there was a great deal of excitement.
The engineering design process invites the students to describe the challenge, explore materials available, create a solution, test the solution, and finally to think of ways to improve their design. We have asked the students to consider how they might improve their design and take on the challenge one last time tomorrow. They may run their ideas by you and ask for some support gathering other materials for the new design. A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CHALLENGE IS ENOUGH! PLEASE DON'T STRESS ABOUT GATHERING MATERIALS TONIGHT! Materials should be simple and reasonable if the students choose to bring them to school.
Thanks for your interest and support.Miriam