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The Geodesic dome: The amazing invention this week’s 5th graders were trying to replicate. Their instructions were to build a Geodesic Dome- a complex structure they weren’t yet familiar with- out of basic polygons they were learning about in math.
Mrs. McClung, the student teacher of the 5th graders, explained that she had found this idea for the Engineering Lab because it involved equilateral triangles- an amazing shape that could be used to make this awesome, strategic, and deliberate building. One student states that “This was a fun challenge because we used our brain to try to perfectly fit each equilateral triangle into or structure,” with a second student echoing with excitement.
4th Grade Kinetic Action Activity
How do you use common household objects to build a contraption that has a purpose? This is the question the fourth graders in the Engineering Lab were trying to answer during the week of January 31st. Students used marbles, cups, string, and other materials to create a contraption that completes a job, using what they have learned in science. For example, one group used a metal ball to turn on a sink’s faucet. The team rolled the ball on a track made of Styrofoam, which led into a balance, that was connected to the handle of the sink. Once the ball hit the bottom of the balance, the faucet was turned on. Another group used a Barbie doll to knock down dominoes and roll their marble to land in a cup. All the fourth graders have been very creative with their ideas, and enjoyed the past few days in the Engineering Lab.
The week of October 28, the Third Grade students went to the Engineering Lab to design and create "Pumpkin Chuckers". Based on the Pumpkin Chucking contest held every year in Deleware and Vermont, our pumpkin chuckers were to chuck / throw candy pumpkins. Incorporating three different simple machines in their designs, students designed and created a "Pumpkin Chucker" that will throw a candy pumkin as far as it could. On Monday, November 4 they all went out to the blacktop to chuck their pumpkin's to see what style of chucker worked the best.
We had many different designs for catapults and a couple of cross-bow style of chuckers. All had fun on Monday and all participants had a chance to eat a candy pumkin (not used in the contest, but fresh from a different bag).
3...2...1... We Have Lift Off!
"Poof, poof" could be heard in the Engineering Lab, the hallway and outside as rocket after rocket took off for far away planets. Fourth Grade students had the opportunity to launch their own hand made rockets to see which planet in the Solar System they could reach. With only one day to design, build and test their rocket, students challenged themselves to make modifications on a second day to try to go further in to the Solar System. Yes, as in real life, we had some that failed to launch (the front capsule flew off leaving the rocket on the launch pad). Many found that more fuel (air pressure) was not always a good idea. We did have many celebrations of success along with celebrations of joy of just doing the project.
Fourth Grade Land Rovers
The Fourth Grade classes come the Engineering Lab to create land rovers that will travel through the different regions of Virginia. Set up in teams of engineers, they are assigned which region or the Dismal Swamp their land rover will be traveling. After researching their region, decisions are made as to what the land rover needs in construction to be able to be able to travel through the obstacles each region provide.
Engineering and Design Studio
The Engineering and Design Studio is located in Room 14. It is set up as a laboratory where students will come to perform research, design and create either on computers or using physical materials, to produce a finished product with a specific purpose.
This room is being supported by Dr. George Meadows, University of Mary Washington, with materials and equipment. Dr. Meadows has a similar laboratory called the "Maker Space" at the University and at the England Run Library.
Anti-Zombi Virus Water Filters
The week of September 23-26, fifth grade students came into the Engineering Lab to protect the world from the Zombie Virus. It is known that it travels through water and affects those who drink the water. The fifth graders protected all at Hartwood by creating water filters to screen out and trap the virus, thus preventing us from becoming zombies. (Funny thing, the Zombie Virus looks an awful lot like pencil shavings!)
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