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3rd Graders Tackle Engineering Challenges
Stephanie Avena, GS Science Teacher

Third graders finished their second semester in science with an engineering unit. This unit provided numerous opportunities for children to do what engineers do, solve problems and figure out ways to improve designs. Students were presented with multiple engineering challenges. These challenges were created with several objectives in mind including practice at following directions to assemble something, improving an original design for enhanced performance and coming up with innovative designs. Children enjoyed looking at their peer's designs and sharing tips for improvement. STEM-based projects like these help to sharpen children's critical thinking along with heightening their curiosity and decision-making skills. When children learn that failures can lead to success, they grow. This unit serves as a precursor to an oil spill unit where third graders will design a tool to clean up an oil spill.

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