SIS News Archive

The Design Process Robots Journey in Grade 2
Posted 11/01/2017 01:37PM

For the past two weeks, Grade 2 students have been started their Unit of Inquiry "How do we Organize ourselves."

Their central idea has been "Scientist use their knowledge of materials to create and invent."

Processes have been a central part of this unit, and the scientific and design process were both introduced. Now there are many different design cycles out there, but some have vocabulary which is a little too difficult for younger students' to understand.

Thus, the design robot from "Invent to Learn" was modified to fit the needs of the Grade 2 students. There are five main steps to the process; Think (empathy), Think (make a plan), Make, Improve (small fix or make better with big change), and Share.

A cardboard challenge was presented to the students to introduce the design process. It started with an image provocation of Mr. K's desk (the problem). Then students were given 20 minutes with minimal parameters to "create a container to hold and organize Mr. K's pens and pencils."

Off they went to design their unique pencil holders. Students chose a wide variety of shapes and sizes for their initial designs and shared them with the class after the conclusion of 20 frantic minutes. Then Mr. K tested some designs to see if one, they could hold pencils, but two, see if it would fit on a desk. Questions then were posed to students to see what improvements could be made in order to make the first designs better.

Students' gave a variety of suggestions and an additional five minutes were given in order to improve their initial designs. There was another share session after the five minutes, and all students were able to make improvements. From dividers being put inside to resizing, and even flaps to ensure the holders would not fall over are just a few examples.

Lastly, students were directed back to the carpet to have a discussion about "processes." Connections were made to their writing and scientific processes and students were asked what steps were taken to design their pencil holders. Their answers were recorded and placed around the Design Process Robot (covered at this time) which corresponded to the five main steps. Then, the robot was revealed after all answers were recorded and students were able to see the connection with the design process or steps, one takes when designing something.

It was a huge success and a variety of pencil holders were created in the process, which you can see on display on the first floor of Parkside campus in Mr. Johnson's, Mrs. Laurie's desk, and staff lunch room.

So, do know a grade 2 student? Make sure to ask them about the design process robot!

Jess Kuemmerlin | Learning Innovation Coach

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Shekou International School

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