Women in STEM -THURSDAY 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Grades 4, 5 and 6
We are celebrating Women's History month by honoring three women engineers in history.
In this 3-week inquiry-based, interactive, and hands-on STEM challenge bundle, elementary school students will learn to think and work as real engineers do. Each week we will focus on one woman engineer ,listen to her story ,then working on an engineering challenge that celebrates her work in history.
We meet once a week for an hour.
I will use the Engineering Design Process to help students create their own unique solutions to the real-world problem at hand.
The engineering design process follows six steps - ASK questions about the problem, BRAINSTORM ideas to solve it, choose one idea and draw it to DESIGN the solution, then BUILD ( what fun !!), TEST, and IMPROVE your solution before coming to the exciting part - SHARING your own unique solution with your friends.
My expertise in this area comes from being in the engineering profession for over 11+ years and from teaching these STEM challenges in classrooms for the past 5 years.
As students progress through each lesson, they learn about concepts through an inquiry-based process where they ask and answer questions about natural phenomena sprinkled throughout the lesson, making this experience very interactive.
In the first week, we will focus on Julia Morgan,a civil engineer and architect in California who designed and built more than 700 buildings, including Hearst Castle and the bell tower at Mills College, which withstood the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Students will learn about the science behind earthquakes and techniques used by engineers to build earth quake resistant buildings.They will then be given a real world challenge to build their own earthquake resistant structure using index cards. We will then test the structures on shake tables before improving and sharing their project with the class.
In the second week, we will learn about Emily Roebling ,who helped oversee the construction and completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband, the main chief engineer became ill.
In this week's project we will learn more about how different kinds of bridges bear loads differently.Then students will design their own unique bridge and test it out for strength and good design.
In the third week, we will learn about Beatrice (Tilly) Shilling an aeronautical engineer who came up with a solution to a problem Hurricane fighter-bomber and Spitfire fighter planes had in WWII with engines stalling during dives and other negative g-force maneuvers. During this lesson students will learn about the different forces that act on an airplane Drag, Lift, Weight and Thrust. Students will then design and make own airplane with paper so they can optimize the lift of the plane to help it go the furthest distance possible, before sharing their ideas and design with the class.
Materials used with be art materials like construction paper ( or index cards) and wooden blocks ( or coins) and paper cups, that easily found in your home or cheaply available. In the real world , engineers also build low cost prototypes that can help bring their ideas to life without breaking the bank and exceeding project costs.
As always, Students' creative and innovative solutions never cease to amaze me. I learn something from my students in every class I take.
I look forward to the fun and excitement as we all innovate together in class !