Tag Archives: engineering design process

Engineering Design Process in Book Creator App

My first graders have been busy as they developed ideas in the engineering design process!

They would open Book Creator app, draw their design then build it out Jumbo K’Nex!  I captured a lot of pictures to share and am so proud of their creations along with the text that they wrote to accompany their picture.  They also changed size of text in their sentences, changed font and color of text!  Their favorite part was recording their voice reading aloud their sentence into Book Creator and sharing their recording with others.

The Book Creator app allows children to begin to fluidly create with tools at their fingertips.  For example, when you open a New Book and choose the Landscape option, then you can press the “+” symbol to see the Pen tool which allows you to draw in many colors, the Add Text tool, the Camera tool, the Photo tool and the Record Voice tool.  I love that kids can select many types of fonts, colors and sizes of text.

Today, a child was asking me how to spell “built”.  I said the letters b, u and i then the word populated above the text.  Book Creator tries to help kids to spell the words correctly by predicting the text that they are typing.  I love that kids can create then use language to describe their drawings and engineering design products!  My favorite description in one of the pictures using Jumbo K’Nex is translated as follows:  We built a tank that is undefeatable.”  The kids absolutely love recording their voice and hearing it played back.  Recording brings the process to a close as they wrap up their creation in the Engineering Design Process and are ready to share with others.

Another exciting piece of this project was in the collaboration that occurred.  Having six year olds collaborate is possible but not always easy.  They had to draw what they wanted to create then share the drawing with a partner or partners.  Then, they had to compromise and decide on the one creation that they would make using the Jumbo K’Nex blocks.

I was glad that I started using Book Creator without having them collaborate at first a few weeks ago.  Back then, I read aloud “What Do You Do With An Idea?” then they created a drawing of an object that they could create to help the world.  I have given them opportunities to also draw a tower that would hold mini apples from the craft store then create it with Unifix Cubes and mini apples, take a picture of their tower holding the apples and then type text about how many cubes they used in the building of their tower and how many apples it would hold.  They also got to use the Record Voice tool to read their sentence aloud about their apple towers.  I think it is important to facilitate proper use of the tools in Book Creator so that students can do increasingly more difficult challenges and begin to compromise as they collaborate with others to build designs.

Copy of IMG_0015

Copy of IMG_0030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pool Noodle Robot Creations

2018-05-09 12.53.31.jpgMy second graders loved designing robots out of pool noodles and craft supplies! They taped three pens on the sides and placed an electric toothbrush from the Dollar Store in the robot to power it on then watched as the robot wiggled on sheets of paper to make cool spirals or other abstract art! Here is the video of our process and a description of each stage of our design process below.

I read my students a book called “Nanobots” and showed them videos about the many and varied sorts of existing nanobot technology.

I loved the many and varied teaching ideas that go along with the “Nanobots” book found here:

http://littlebrownlibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PR4667_Nanobots_EG_FINAL.pdf

They went through the Design Process by going through the following stages:

Imagine

They researched nanobots by taking notes while I read the book and they watched videos. They imagined other types of robots like Swarm Robots. They chose the one that they liked the best and wrote a paragraph to describe what it could do in first person point of view as if they were the robot.  Here is a list of the videos that I showed them:

Swarm robotics: https://wtvi.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/nvmms.sci.eng.swarm/swarm-robotics/en/#.Wt39Vy7wZdg

Great examples of real nanobots here:

https://www.tes.com/lessons/nw6TJe3yX_hlCA/nanobots

https://kidssteamlab.com/art-bot-art-projects-kids/

Plan

They drew a design of what their robot would look like and be able to do.  Their constraints were the following materials:  6 inch pool noodle strips, a battery powered tooth brush, googly eyes, Pom poms, feathers, pipe cleaners, glue, masking tape and three pens which they would tape around the bottom of the 6 inch pool noodle. I showed them a video sample to help generate ideas.  They understood that they would have a prototype of a real nanobot.  They could not make an actual nanobot with our materials but they liked planning their prototype!

Design/Create

In the next session, they used the craft materials to make their robots. They inserted the tooth brush in the center of their foam noodle and turned it on to see it wiggle! They took a picture of it, inserted it into Chatterpix on their iPads and recorded themselves reading their paragraph.  They were stored in a bin to wait for our next class.

In the next session, they added three pens to the bottom of their 6 inch pool noodle and taped them on with masking tape. I had written their names on the bottom of each 6 inch section of pool noodles and gave them back to students in this session.   I placed six pens on each table where partners worked and provided strips of masking tape.  After I showed them how to attach the 3 pens to the noodle with masking tape, I showed them how to insert the tooth brush in the center of their foam noodle, turn it on to see it wiggle! The pens traveled all around a sheet of paper to make beautiful designs! They loved seeing their robot come to life.

2018-05-17 12.39.56.jpg

Improve

It took a lot of tries and a willingness not to give up to get the pens in the correct location so that the robot would draw spirals.  Sometimes, the robot just drew squiggly lines.  Since the toothbrushes came with cheap batteries, I would have to replace some of the batteries with name brand batteries if the tooth brush would not come on.  Although I purchased 15 Dollar Store electric tooth brushes, sometimes they power button would not budge.  This meant that students had to patiently wait their turns to get a tooth brush that would actually work.  The joy that erupted with students when they saw their creation come to life was worth all of the time it had taken to organize these materials!

Reflect

I asked them to take their robot home that day to a spot in their world at home and think about how they can make a difference just like their pool noodle robot was designed to make a difference.  During the next class, many of the students told me how that they used electric tooth brushes at home to make their robot work.  One female student stopped in my class before school to tell me that she wanted to be an engineer and create robots when she grew up!  I was so inspired by her and thankful that she had this opportunity to make and go through the design process.

I started this journey at Dollar Tree buying batter powered tooth brushes and at Walmart buying 34 pool noodles, craft supplies, pens and glue.  I former student of mine volunteered to cut each of the 34 noodles into 6 inch sections which saved me a lot of time.  Her willingness to help me allowed almost 200 2nd graders to experience creating a fun robot and go through the design process.  It was totally worth it based on my students’ excitement!  I must admit, my shopping cart looked so unusual in WalMart back in March.  I remember my excitement as I placed the pool noodles in my trunk along with craft supplies and pens!  A local Dominoes Pizza store had just donated pizza boxes which I painted green for backdrops for green screen scenes using the Stik Bot app on iPads.  That’s another post for another time! I know that my students will remember the experience of making a robot and hope you will enjoy the video of them doing it!