The 5th and 6th grade S.T.E.M. classes have been busy engineering various designs this month. Our unit has focused on an introduction to the design process, surrounded by an Olympic theme. The students were asked to assume that the 2020 Olympics would be hosted by Bellefontaine, so they have been designing prototypes of various things we would see at the next Olympic games. Throughout our unit, they have also been learning a number of engineering terms as well as implementing the steps of the design process. The first design challenge consisted of students looking into the past to observe strength in shapes in old Olympic structures, and taking the ideas they learned to the design table to create the strongest structure they could. Some of their designs were able to hold over 100 pounds! The students also had a challenge to create a parking garage prototype to hold at least 8 toy cars. All designs were successful, and some even held up to 40 pounds after the redesign.
The latest challenge was for students to create landing pad prototypes for Olympic gymnasts. The athlete was an egg that had to drop from different heights onto the students’ landing pads without breaking. Before designing, students learned about kinetic and potential energy, as well as what material worked best for absorbing shock. They then used the information they gathered and created landing pads using foam, bubble wrap, and cardboard. As the designs progressed, the students’ creativity kicked in and they began building caps for their designs in order to hold their eggs. By the redesign phase, all landing pads successfully caught eggs from a 6.5 ft. drop. As we wrap up this final challenge, students will present their journey through the design process and explain how energy was created and lost during the egg drop. This challenge also wraps up the Olympic engineering unit. We look forward to seeing the future engineered projects in the coming challenges!
Congratulations to the October
Students of the Month!