Step 3 - Engineering

Design and Make Activity - 2nd Class


Strand - Materials

Strand Unit - Properties and Characteristics of materials

Content Objective -- begin to explore how different materials may be used in the construction of homes suited to their environments

The students began by first discussing in pairs what materials they would associate with building houses, in Ireland and abroad. We then came together and derived a list of all the materials that they came up with. We spoke about why we see certain materials used in different countries/climates. We discussed why some materials could not be used in Ireland. From that, the children then started to come up with an idea for their own house design. They made drafts and then came up with their final design. Check out all of the lovely design ideas in the photo gallery below.

irThe children were then grouped and they brought their ideas together for what house design they wanted to create. They were given a supply of materials to choose from, such as straw, straws, lollipop sticks, building blocks, Lego and paper. We discussed what materials they would find the easiest to use to make their house. Most of the groups agreed that Lego or the building blocks would be the best materials. The children then divided themselves into sub-teams and gave different parts of the house to construct to those teams. As you can see, the children were motivated and engaged and enjoyed working in teams to come up with their dream homes. They proudly showed off their finished designs and enjoyed showing off different design elements in their houses to everyone. The children shared what worked well for them, when building the houses and what they would change if they had to build it again. Although, most of the children were very happy with their final designs 🙂


Investigate and develop an understanding of how everyday items work

In 3rd class, the children are very interested in how their own bodies work. We made this project about a part of our everyday movement - The Skeleton.
We learned all about the parts of the skeleton, how our skeleton supports our body, how our bones, muscles and joints work together to allow it to move and finally how to take care of our muscles and bones.

We undertook two experiments:

  1. Exploring how our spine moves and what makes our back flexible.
  2. How tendons help to make our fingers move.

In the first experiment, children used pipe cleaners, straws and scissors. They discovered that when the straw was cut it became more flexible and they could bend the pipe cleaner. This represents the spine.

In the second experiment, the children used wool, card, straws, scissors, sticky tape and a pencil. They drew the outline of their hands and cut pieces of straw for each finger and the thumb. They stuck the straw onto the hands. Five lengths of wool were cut and threaded through each piece of straw for each finger and thumb. The children pulled the lengths of wool and observed what happened. The shows when the wool is pulled and the fingers move, the job of the tendon comes to light. It explores how our tendons help to move our fingers.

Take a look at the children of 3rd class hard at work.