April 19, 2017 – Last week, second graders at Park Terrace learned about sails and studied how to build them. Students had time to investigate, sort and test out a variety of materials as a group a few days prior to building the sails. They took notes to help them decide what materials and properties of those materials would work for the sails they wanted to design. From there, they drew pictures and made lists of what they needed.
“They wanted to do more, go farther and be better than their first attempt,” said second grade teacher Melissa Haggar-Olson. “This was great for the second grade teachers to see!”
By studying the engineering design process, students imaged and categorized the materials in groups, made individual plans in their science journals, created their sails, tested them out and made improvements based on how well the sail traveled.
Part of the design process and STEM approach to learning encourages refining ideas and that it’s okay to fail on the first try.
“They learned that they need to put more thought into their plans,” Haggar-Olson said. "The students all appreciated having the chance to make improvements on their designs.”