Third graders at Triton Elementary have recently constructed life guard chairs to help them compare the scientific method to the engineering design process. Students also created two-column notes in their science notebooks to help them make connections between these two methods. As learners progressed, they were able to begin to identify a client, user, setting, criteria, and constraints through the use of a design brief about a local town that recently builds a swimming pool for the community to use.
Triton Superintendent Donna Burroughs said, “Although this was a make-believe scenario, it was a possible situation in which students could determine ways to solve the pool’s problem of needing to have life-guard chairs that would ensure the safety of swimmers visiting the pool.”
Rulers, note cards, and tape were the only supplies provided to the class as they sketched possible designs in their notebooks. Students then created their chairs based on their sketch and then tested them for height and sturdiness. The final step of this activity was to look at each test outcome to identify the successful portions from the less successful ones. With this information, pupils could determine how to improve each design in order to meet the criteria necessary to effectively solve the problem.
Design1-Nathaniel Schwartz & Travis Barnhart
Design2-Nadia Stetler & Mya Davis
Design & Build:
Design3- Nadia Stetler & Mya Davis
Design4-Wesley Reynolds & Isaiah Vaca