I cannot even begin to express how much fun my students are having with this challenge!  They are coming to the STEM lab keyed up and ready to dive into their projects.  I’ve never seen them so excited before.

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This week, we move on to Phase 2 of the project.  After meeting their customers and getting their design challenge last time, this time they get to start working with their team to decide on their final design.  I provided them with copies of the customer descriptions from the manual, as well as the basic sketching instructions.

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We began by discussing different sketching techniques, and how to use them in technical drawings.  From there, each team got a THINK card to discuss and incorporate into their design.  We also discussed how their final design should not necessarily be the entire design of one team member, but instead should include the best parts of the designs of all the team members.  I have to say, my students have been AMAZING at working with their teams and truly collaborating, rather than just one or two strong personalities running the group.

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After our initial discussions, the teams were let loose to discuss and design their products.  I rotated through the teams to answer any questions and give suggestions and pointers.  The kids were very engaged, and coming up with some fantastic ideas.  It was also very nice to see a lot of the kids pulling up their design journals and writing notes during the class instead of just waiting for our reflection time at the end.

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So far, this project has been a roaring success, and I can only see it getting better as we go along.  I can’t wait for Phase 3!

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