This week in STEM, the 2/3 class explored one of their “need to knows” for this project on engineering and circuitry: What do engineers do? To answer this, they brainstormed some of the things that engineers need to do. This week we focused on blueprints. The 2/3s unpacked this term and came up with the definition that a blueprint is a sketch or a drawing that is a plan for how to build something. To create a blueprint for a circuit, they learned how to draw basic circuit diagrams, including symbols for wires, batteries, LED/lights, and switches (open and closed). They applied these new symbols to draw a blueprint for a simple copper tape circuit. They did a great job applying this new skill to their LED circuits!
Next, as we continued to explore what engineers do, the 2/3s decided that engineers follow a plan, and use their blueprint. To practice, they used the steps of the Engineering Design Process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve) as they tackled a design challenge: to build a structure that can deposit a ball into a container 12 inches away. They worked through each step of the EDP, brainstorming and drawing a blueprint of their best idea, creating their structure, and then analyzing what worked and what didn’t, so that they could improve on the final design. They came up with some very innovative solutions to this challenge!