First Grade Engineering

Students in Mrs. Omiecinski’s first grade class have been learning all about the engineering design process.  The first step in the students’ design process was to find a problem and gather information to learn about it.  The students identified that every winter they build snowmen, however, when it starts to warm their snowmen melt.  As a result, students settled on the questions of “how could students slow the melting process?”

In the next step, students were to brainstorm solutions.  Students discussed what they know about keeping items cold in their houses and when they go on a picnic.  Students concluded that they needed to insulate their snowmen to keep the cold air in and keep out the warmth.

Next, students made a plan and built a model.  Students worked with partners to explore the properties of various materials and decided what they were going to use for materials.  Students drew up a plan, and the following day they built a model that would protect their miniature snowman.

Finally, students set up their models to test how much melting would occur throughout the experiment.  In the end they discussed why some models worked better than others and how they might improve their own designs should they do the experiment again in the future.