If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

  • Challenge 1: #inspire
  • Challenge 2: #engage
  • Challenge 3: #collaboratetocreate

Our design process work this year is organized around #challenges.  Students are invited in for Tinker Time to explore a mission, problem or task of the week.  With this approach, we remain grounded in purpose with our use and application of tools and technology.

A challenge that has involved students in impressive work with #collaboratetocreate is the “Build a Vehicle” #CardboardChallenge.  Different groups of students in Grades 1-5 contributed to the development of a functioning car over the course of a week, starting by examining the materials and deciding they would best work for a car.  Differentiation occurred organically with students at different grade levels taking on aspects of the vehicle design process that were engaging and feasible for them.  The final cardboard car product was one that included the contributions of many individuals to the development of a collective vision.

An #inspire and #engage challenge that has motivated our older students is the #BottleFlippingChallenge.  This mission  evolved in response to a demonstrated desire of our students to partake in the current bottle-flipping fad.  Students’ efforts to fling, spin, and lob drink containers and lunch boxes in the cafeteria proved to undermine the peaceful dining environment for which we strive.  In an effort to harness the enthusiasm for this sport, we embraced it as a #challenge.  Students were encouraged to consider the science of bottle flipping goals and design targets for increasing rigor levels of challenge. To quote maker librarian extraordinaire, Megan Blakemore, “if you can’t beat them, challenge them.”





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