SAMPLE DESIGN WEEK
Universal Theme: Patterns
Connecting Concept: Cause and Effect
Science/Engineering Focus: Forces- Pushes and Pulls
Students engaged in the Design Thinking process as they explored the connecting concept of cause and effect, while gaining experiences using pushes and pulls, noticing patterns, and determining the differences between pushes and pulls.
Introducing the vocabulary associated with Forces, noticing patterns when exploring different pushes and pulls through playground games, toys, and art.
How can you push or pull a hula hoop?
Students continued to investigate pushes and pulls as they explored what the Dash Robot needs to do to lift varying amounts of objects using a pulley. In addition, they explored the cause of speed and how it effected the Dash Robot pushing tiles. In art, students designed art using pushes and pulls.
On Wednesdays, students participate in a community-connected experience. For this week, students went to the Backyard at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum and while they were exploring, they noticed pushes and pulls. This gave them an opportunity to transfer their learning to a new environment. It was also Halloween!
"We are pushing and pulling as we build the house."
Students developed an understanding of the Design Process as they wondered how they might incorporate pushes and pulls in a mini-golf course. They asked questions, then imagined what their course might look like and finally worked with a group of students to plan out their course. In art, they continued the work with pushes by making prints while learning about the Visual Alphabet.
Focused artist pushing to make a print.
Students reviewed their plans and figured out a way to build it. They then had an opportunity to play each others' course and think about how they could improve it. While in art, they considered the importance of gravity and its pull by imagining, planning, and creating mobiles inspired by Calder.
Our DESIGN Weeks provide students with an extended amount of time to engage in the design thinking process as they participate in art and engineering activities. It is during these weeks that students use their math, reading, and writing skills as they ask questions, research, and think creatively and flexibly.
We start in Kindergarten with students learning the design thinking process modeled after the Engineering is Elementary Curriculum, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. In addition, they are developing stress management, self regulation, relationship skills, a sense of belonging, and academic tenacity.
As students move to 5th and 6th grade, they engage in larger long term projects that start with students noticing a need in our community or world and empathizing with the end user. They start to engage in the design thinking process modeled after the Stanford Design School. Students see school as relevant and connected to our world, as they develop resilience, curiosity, and self-direction.
On the Wednesday of a grade level's DESIGN Week, students participate in a community connected experience. Starting in the primary grades in Kindergarten, this typically is a field trip connected to the learning students will engage in during their next 6 weeks of CORE, but as students become more sophisticated this might turn into a off site visit with a community partner that is related to the DESIGN projects students are working on.
For instance, here is a visit to the Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy.
We hope to make connections with our Santa Barbara Community, so that students are gaining learning experiences in all walks of life, and not just within the 4 walls of the classroom.
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