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Introduce your students to the adorable gnomes of Gnomeland. Your kids will be engineers – designing and creating a bridge to help the gnomes. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) state that we must incorporate engineering into our elementary science curriculum. Kids love designing and creating on their own and this packet encourages them to think like engineers. I do not tell my students how to build a bridge. They have to figure it out themselves through trial and error –it is the best way for them to learn the engineering process! I had my students work in groups of 4 and at the end of this unit, every group had designed a unique and functional bridge. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me and they feel so triumphant when they bring a design idea to life!
NGSS standards met with this packet:
Grades K- 2: ENGINEERING DESIGN
K-2-ETS1-1: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool
K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem
-Parent letter requesting materials. I collect things that are usually looked upon as garbage (toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, yogurt cups, tissue boxes, etc.) all year round. I suggest you begin collecting these things right away! I’ve included a parent letter in case you do not have enough supplies.
-7 page story of the gnomes and their problem that students must solve; discussion questions included
-student worksheet and answer key “Gnome Engineers” – asking questions, making observations. I use this for students in grades 1 and 2.
-student worksheet and answer key “Engineering Solutions” – brainstorm page. I use this for students in grades 1 and 2.
-Criteria for bridge project (I have my students work in groups and they complete the bridge in class but this could be a project that is done at home).
-7 photos of actual bridges for discussion and inspiration
-Copies of Gnomeland to be used to build the actual bridge over (I print out 8 villages, 8 towns and 8 lakes because I have 16 students working on creating 8 bridges)
-student worksheet “Design a Bridge” –students draw their design before creating it; this worksheet can be used for all ages. Bridge measurement worksheet included.
-Examples of student bridge drawings
-Photos of actual bridges created in class
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Please note: these units are for the use of one educator.
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Sue from Science for Kids :)