Wednesday, December 4, 2013

STEM Engineering Design Bridges

One of my goals this year was to incorporate more S.T.E.M. activities into my science curriculum. I decided to do the Gnome Engineers Using Engineering to Build and Design a Bridge project that I got over at Sue Calahane's Science For Kids. Boy, did my kids have a ball with this project! It's by far one of my personal favorites of the year.

Every step of learning the Engineering Design Process was an exciting adventure for my second graders. They especially loved designing their own gnomes, gnome lands and finally getting to the design step of the engineering design process. 

My school uses the FOSS Solids and Liquids Kit, so it was quite a challenge for my primary students to  process (just as real engineers do) how to use what they knew about the properties of their solids, which included materials like cups, cardboard squares, wooden cylinders, and craft sticks, to build their bridges, complete with posts, roadways, guardrails and height. Their designs were amazing and I'm thrilled to share some of them. 

My students learned so much about the engineering design process by doing this project. Many wrote in their evaluations that they loved building with the solids, and they didn't like that it took so long from start to finish--something that is very challenging for little learners. It was a great experience for us all. 




  1. Lori those designs are fantastic!! You sound like you're such a great teacher, I'm sure your kids love your class! So happy they enjoyed helping out the gnomes :)
    Science for Kids Blog


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