Swinging Into Engineering at Primrose Elementary School
How do engineers get their start? At Primrose Elementary School it might just be by building swings for Teddy Bears.
Second graders reviewed basic engineering properties, learned new vocabulary words like flexibility and elasticity and examined materials with those properties. Students then had to use that knowledge to create a swing that would hold a small Teddy Bear. They used materials including straws, pipe cleaners, string, plastic cups, aluminum foil, Play-Doh and paper towel holders to construct their working Teddy Bear swings.
"For myself, Mrs. Adanuncio, and Mrs. Natole it was amazing to see the children jump into being engineers,” said teacher Stefanie Pacheco. “They really understood the process - you are making a plan to solve a problem. As you are making your design, you find that changes have to be made along the way.”
Pacheco said it was amazing to watch the children plan, create, problem solve and execute. “It's so exciting to see their faces when their structures work,” she said. “It's also fun to see them adapt and make changes when something isn't working.”
Students were pleased with how the projects turned out and were excited to see whether their designs would be successful. "My favorite part was testing my swing,” said Davis McCoullgh. “I was excited to see if it worked."
“It was exciting and fun and it was tricky to get it to stand up," said Ana Markolovic.
Dylan Nugent said making the seat was complicated but fun. “I had to try again and again,” he said. Classmate Andrew Kaminski agreed. “It was exciting putting it together, but I was also nervous - I didn't want it to fall."