Classroom Engineers - NV - Second Grade

Classroom Engineers
A Classrooms Unleashed Program for
Second-Grade Students

The hands on aspect was great; students not only heard about science, they became part of it.
— Lindsey, Elementary Teacher

Throughout this unit, students work collaboratively to apply the three steps of the Engineering Design Process: Define the Problem, Develop Solutions, and Optimize. Students participate in three in-class lessons that integrate the second grade standards for Engineering Design. During each of the lessons, students have the opportunity to work with a partner or a small team to design, construct, and test their solutions to given problems. Students also discover why the three steps of the Engineering Design Process are important to solving real-world problems.

Lessons Overview

LESSON 1: Sink or FloaT? 

During this 75-minute lesson students practice making predictions and recording data while conducting a sink or float investigation with a variety of objects. Students identify and discuss the three steps of the Engineering Design Process to choose the best solution for a boat design that can hold at least ten “passengers” using only one piece of aluminum foil.

LESSON 3: The discovery museum

During this 3-hour field trip, students  travel to the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum! Students work in teams during a museum lab to build a skyscraper, journey on a scavenger hunt throughout the museum looking for properties of matter, and build more bridges out of wooden blocks in the Build-it Room.

LESSON 2: Roller Coasters 

During this 75-minute lesson, students explore a variety of household items to gather information about the idea of motion and how energy causes objects to move. Students apply their knowledge of energy to design a solution to a problem. Students use the Engineering Design Process with a partner to sketch, construct, and test model roller coasters.

LESSON 4: Towers

During this 75-minute lesson, students make inferences about the strength of shapes and recognize how a variety of shapes are used in different types of structures. With a partner, students actively participate in each step of the Engineering Design Process to build a structure with certain criteria and constraints, using only a limited amount of materials.


Common Core

ELA: W.2.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. 

Mathematical Practices - MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively; MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically.

Next Generation Science Standards

K-2-ETS1-1: DCI's - ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C SEP's - Asking Questions and Defining Problems

K-2-ETS1-2: DCI's - Developing Possible Solutions SEP's - Developing and Using Models CC's: Structure and Function

K-2-ETS1-3: DCI's - Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs. SEP's - Analyze data from tests of an object or tool to determine if it works as intended.

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