For the past few weeks, scholars have been involved in the engineering design process. They have been imagining, planning, building and testing a piece of playground equipment built from recycled materials. Their design had to be freestanding, show movement, be transportable, had to withstand the wind test (blow-dryer), have no loose parts and had to match their plan.
The first step was imagining the possibilities. We visited our own playground and looked at lots of pictures of other playgrounds. This led to an investigation of simple machines. The kids noticed that many pieces of playground equipment are comprised of simple machines. We watched a video created by a playground simple machines expert. Watch it here:
The next step was planning. Scholars chose their piece of equipment and met with their team to investigate the materials and make a plan.