Elementary Physical Science: Building Vehicles and Teamwork

One of my favorite units for elementary school students is Motion and Design by STC.  I took quite a few photos during the last lesson of the unit when I taught it last spring.  I particularly like how the photos illustrate the collaborative nature of the work that the students did.  This represents a major accomplishment, since many of the children in this particular group weren’t used to working together at the beginning of the year.  This last lesson was particularly satisfying because the teamwork was so seamless, I didn’t quite realize how much of it there was until I reviewed my pictures and realized that nearly every picture I took shows multiple children working on a vehicle at the same time.

The child who isn't actually touching the vehicle being built was directing the construction at this point. I consider this a major coup since the
The child who isn’t actually touching the vehicle being built was directing the construction at this point. I consider this a major coup since the “director” is naturally very quiet and shy – but on this day, she realized she had an excellent idea, spoke up, and convinced her team mates to build her design.
This team was able to meet the basic requirements of the assignment very quickly, but they decided that their original design lacked flair. Here, they are working on a redesign to see if they can add style while retaining functionality.
This team was able to meet the basic requirements of the assignment very quickly, but they decided that their original design lacked flair. Here, they are working on a redesign to see if they can add style while retaining functionality.

One of the finished vehicles – this was designed to deliver a “pizza” quickly and safely, reverse direction, and return to the starting point.  The wooden block represents the pizza.  This vehicle was powered by a falling weight system, which is just barely visible.

Photos downloaded June292015 091

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