This week, first graders completed their first open ended STEM project – designing, building and testing containers with a handle that could carry at least three apples for a distance of ten steps. For the first part of the project, students investigated the size and weight of apples and the various materials they could use to build their containers. Then, each first grader brainstormed four ideas for containers that followed our criteria. The next part of the design process saw the children working in groups of three or four to decide on one plan to use. To do this in the allotted time, each child listened as other group members presented their ideas and decided upon either one plan or a combination of several plans. The children really stepped up to the plate with this and each group came up with a single design to build. On Thursday, first graders worked together to build their apple containers, and then today we tested them. All of the containers not only met the challenge of carrying three apples successfully, they were able to carry five apples for the distance, and two containers even carried eight apples before the containers broke! It was a very successful endeavor for our first grade engineers!
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