How do we make our playground more comfortable to play on when it is sunny?
The goals of this unit are for kindergarten students to become familiar with how engineers use their knowledge of the heating effects of the sun to make design decisions for a playground. In this unit, students will explore the warming effects of the sun. They will use this knowledge as they go step by step through the engineering design process to design models of structures that could be used on their school playground to make it more comfortable to play on when it is sunny outside.
How can we make our box car move fast, far and turn?
This unit engages students in the work of figuring out how objects move to answer the driving question, "How can we make a box car move fast, far, and turn?" Students figure out that a force is required to change the speed and direction of an object for and that two types of forces are pushes and pulls. Through an investigation, they figure out that a stronger push makes an object move faster and farther. Then, focusing on pulls, students learn from a text that gravity is an example of a pull. Students also conduct an investigation about collisions. They figure out that collisions make an object stop or turn.
Why do animals and plants Change their environment?
In this unit students learn about the needs of plants and animals and how they meet their needs by changing their environments. The unit driving question is Why do animals and plants change their environments? Students use an ant farm, photographs, videos, and models to observe how ants, beavers, plants, and humans change their environments. They make observations of pictures of ants, beavers, humans, and plants to identify what they need to survive and what makes them living things (compared to nonliving things). Students investigate why animals and plants live in certain places. Students then build on their understanding of why animals and plants change their environments to consider ways to minimize human impacts on the land, water, and air. They explain that protecting the environment can help animals and plants survive by giving them a safe place to meet their needs. Students write an informational text about how to protect the environment so ants can continue to grow and survive.
How can we design a device to clean a pond?
In this unit, students will become environmental engineers as they work to save a fictional duck from a polluted pond. They’ll explore animal habitats and ecosystems, humans’ impact on the environment, and recycling and environmental stewardship as they engineer their own trash collectors.