Eastern Time: 4:30pm Weekly (choose day of week)
Time & Location
About the Event
Using only a handful of materials (common household items such as paper, straw, toothpicks, tape, etc.) for each lesson, children will engage in simple activities that expose them to basic concepts in structural engineering, force and motion, aerodynamics, energy conversion, buoyancy, and many other topics. Some examples of what will be done this summer:
- Start with small, fun, and seemingly weak materials to build structures tall and strong. What shape is the strongest in structural engineering? What shape is the strongest under compression?
- Take just two small household items, and make a rocket! What shapes enable the rocket to fly steadier?
- How can you play opposing forces against each other so as to keep slippery objects in place?
- What designs of boats make for better buoyancy?
- How far can you make sound travel, and what materials best transmit sound?
You'll find out! Participate hands-on alongside the teacher's demo, or be in watch-only mode.
At the start of class, teacher will introduce the topic, ask questions and solicit "smart guesses" (hypotheses) as to what could happen. Teacher will demonstrate basics of the activity step-by-step, so kids gain a foundational confidence, then pose simple design challenges and allow kids to work creatively for a short time. Some kids may actively follow along with materials at home, and others might only participate by watching. Teacher may pause at points to allow kids to make observations or ask questions.
As the activity unfolds, teacher will facilitate discussion about the observations and discoveries. By the end of class, children will engage in a lesson about the key science or engineering concept of the day. Multiple questions will be sprinkled by the teacher throughout the lesson to spark curiosity in the children. Every child will have opportunities to speak, either by being called on individually or in a small randomized group with others. Any child may raise questions or observations along the way. No prior experience or knowledge of science or engineering required.