The Year 6 students have an exciting integrated STEAM unit ahead this term where they will be designing and building their own solar products. This unit is inspired by Solar Buddies, but that will have to wait until another blog...
The design process and design thinking are going to be a large part of our STEAM unit this week and to get the ball rolling I wanted to give the students a practical way to introduce the design process. The activity I set for the class required them to work in small groups to construct a bridge between two chairs that a Sphero robot could safely traverse. This is not an original idea. Pinterest is full of related lesson ideas and it can also be found in the Sphero Lighting Lab lessons.
The activity provided me with the opportunity to highlight a couple of key thoughts I felt were important the children leave the lesson with:
1. A failed design is not really a failure. It's part of the design process and provides an opportunity to reflect on the design and improve it.
2. The design process is often improved with collaboration. Working as a team, consulting with specialists and building on shared ideas usually results in even better outcomes and productivity.
What model do you use with students to facilitate the design process? There are some really great models out there. I'd love to hear what others are using. Leave a comment below!