Week of October 23rd

Grades K-2 Essential Question: How can we, as roller coaster engineers, design a coaster that meets the needs and interests of our class? 

This week we have begun our larger project: Roller Coaster Design! Students are using Design Thinking to interview classmates about their coaster preferences in order to EMPATHIZE with our class. Then, using the information they collected, students are using learned vocabulary words to IDEATE different roller coaster sketches. Finally, students are creating a paper-based PROTOTYPE model of their roller coaster to TEST and present to the class. 

Grades 3-6 Essential Question: How can I visually represent a process in my head? 

This week, students are laying the foundation for their Design Thinking project by learning about a Process (Systems) Model. A Process Model is a type of PROTOTYPE that shows the process of doing something (like making toast or playing a game) in simple, easy to follow visual steps. 

Moving into the end of the week, students will begin EMPATHIZING and DEFINING their projects as follows:

  • Grades 3-4: How can I use Design Thinking to create a MAGNIFICENT THING for someone in our class? 
  • Grades 5-6: How can we, as entrepreneur-inventors, pitch a new product to a panel of sharks? 

Grades 7-8 Essential Question: How can we, as animal behaviorists, design and create a chicken enrichment device that will help the Westgate chickens through winter? 

Working in collaboration with Ms. Charlie in Environmental Education, last week students EMPATHIZED, DEFINED, and designed their chicken enrichment device. This week, students are PROTOTYPING their devices/play structures and TESTING their structures in the chicken coop. As a part of our tests, students will be catching and releasing the chickens to see how they interact with their prototypes. This will be an ongoing project that will occasionally take us back out to the chicken coop as we move forward with our quarter-long process of building pinball machines through the Destination Imagination Technical Challenge. 

More information can be found here: https://www.destinationimagination.org/challenge-experience/challenge-previews/