Saturday, May 18, 2013

Children's Engineering

I work at a "Children's Engineering and Design Technology" school. Basically students are given design briefs with a challenge and they build a solution. I was very overwhelmed when I first got to the school and couldn't fully understand how to implement these lessons into my plans. Well I knew how... I just didn't seem to have the time to do it. All new teachers to the school were able to attend the state wide CE&DT Conference. I sat through a session on using children's literature to create design briefs. They shared one to go with the True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and students to create a house out of various materials (marshmallows, pretzel sticks, peanut butter, twizzlers) that could withstand the gusts of a fan for 5 sections. I thought that was cool... but I was never able to create any briefs to match any books I read.

I attended a workshop last summer at the Math and Science Innovation Center in Richmond, Virginia. I was able to sit through a session where a 3rd grade teacher had created design briefs based on the Social Studies and Science Curriculum we're required to teach. Basically I had been overthinking this whole process and the light bulb finally went off.


  1. Thank you so much! I will be attending a county sponsored workshop this summer about Design Briefs. I would loved to have attended the workshop you attended. Here in Accomack County, VA they won't pay for that!

  2. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE these! Thank you for sharing. I can't wait to incorporate these next year with some of my high ability learners. Much appreciated!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! It is exactly what I was looking for!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  4. Love your design briefs! I especially love the "Me Museum".
    Just joined your job and would love for you to visit mine when you get a chance!
    Patti :)
    A Series of 3rd Grade Events