Optional Teaching Supplies

Materials for this Unit

Many EiE lessons use materials that are commonly available at grocery, hardware, or craft stores. To obtain kit materials, either visit our EiE store to purchase a kit that includes materials for up to 30 students, or create your own kit based on the materials list printed in the teacher guide or the downloadable list below.

Each unit includes a letter to send home with student for materials donation for the unit. Click here to download a copy of this letter in Spanish.

Additional Storybooks for Classroom Use

Storybooks introduce each unit with the tale of a child somewhere around the world who solves a problem through engineering. The books integrate literacy and social studies into the unit and illustrate for students the relevance of STEM subjects. 

Explore the Lessons

Students think about what technology is and are introduced to the idea that engineers design technologies.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

What is Technology? / Grade 4 / Worcester, MA

Students think about what technology is and are introduced to the idea that engineers design technologies.

Extension Lessons

What are Extension Lessons?

Extension Lessons use EiE activities as a springboard to more directly reinforce other curricular concepts.

View all Extension Lessons »

To explore the hilly roads of Santorini, Greece, Despina uses a wheelchair, but she loves the freedom of movement she has when she’s swimming in the ocean.  While Despina and her cousin Chrisanthy are on a dive, Chrisanthy loses her favorite swim goggles in deep water. Then, as they’re heading home, they find a “treasure”—a scientific device floating in the water. The girls return the instrument to ocean engineers and learn how engineers design submersibles to collect ocean data. Despina and Chrisanthy are inspired to design their own submersible and retrieve the lost goggles.

Download a PDF of our Storybook Illustrations.


Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Despina Makes a Splash / Grade 3 / Naples, FL
Click here for a more in-depth look

Reflection Questions

How does Glen elicit prior knowledge from his students before beginning the lesson?

Glen has students share their prior knowledge through classroom conversation and writing on sticky notes.

  • Before reading the storybook, Glen has students write down what they think ocean engineers do. He reads some of the responses out loud so students can hear their peers’ ideas. (:20- 1:29)
  • Glen has students hypothesize what the story will be about based the title. (1:36- 2:06)
  •  Glen also asks students to share what they know about the ocean. (2:46- 3:36)  

How does Glen emphasize certain parts of the storybook, and why do you think he picks those parts?

Glen projects slides from the storybook to emphasize important concepts from the story.

  • Glen projects a map to show students the geography of Greece and to point out the island of Santorini, where the story takes place. (2:09- 2:40)
  • Glen shows a picture of Despina in a wheelchair and has students discuss what they know about disabilities. (4:10- 4:50)
  • Projecting a picture of a submersible allows Glen to show students parts of a submersible and hint at the design challenge in lessons 3 and 4. (5:04-5:55) 

Students think like ocean engineers as they use sounding technologies to generate data about a model of the ocean floor.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Into the Deep / Grade 3 / Naples, FL
Click here for a more in-depth look

Reflection Questions

How do you see Glen handling the fact that the sounding pole data his students are collecting is not what he expected?

Glen accepts the answers that his students are getting, despite the fact that the data is not showing where all the underwater items are located. He then uses the data to prompt a discussion about how the sounding pole technology could be improved.

  • Glen acknowledges the repetition in the sounding pole data and reminds his students that their findings are telling them something about the bottom of the ocean that they’ll interpret later. (03:58)
  • Glen shows the inside of the model ocean to his students and facilitates a conversation about how the sounding pole technology can be improved. (6:21)
  • In his interview, Glen addresses the problems his students encountered with the sounding pole technology and the potential they found for improvement. (8:34)

How does Glen keep his students engaged in the classroom experience and involved with whole-group discussion?

Glen uses interactive facilitation strategies and audiovisual learning tools to keep his students engaged and on track.

  • Glen has his students repeat after him in unison, “depth data grid.” (2:20)
  • Instead of instructing his students in how to color the depth data grid, Glen asks them what they would do as group. (2:56)
  • Glen plays an audio track of a sonar beeping and uses a flashlight to demonstrate how much of the ocean has yet to be studied. (8:03)

 Students explore how the mass and volume of an object affects whether it sinks or floats in water.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
A Sinking Feeling / Grade 3 / Naples, FL
Click here for a more in-depth look

Reflection Questions

How does Glen integrate kinesthetic experiences into his classroom?

Glen has students physically represent some of the key concepts explained in the lesson.  

  • Glen points out the differences between musical instruments and engineering instruments by having students act out playing a musical instrument. This helps them remember that the word can be used in two different ways. (:33- :45)
  • Glen has students act like fashion models in order to help them remember that the word “model” has different meanings. (:28- :31)
  • When explaining mass, volume, and density, Glen has students stand up and expand or contract their bodies to help them remember the concepts. 

What strategies does Glen use to help keep the vial testing process orderly and make sure students understand the results?

Glen assigns roles to students, testing each vial one at a time, and demonstrates how to record results after each test.

  • Glen assigns one person from each table to be the “tester” and another to be the “artist” who records all the results. (4:56-5:18)
  • Glen asks for predictions from the class before each vial is dropped into the tub of water.
  • Glen draws an image of the tub on the white board and uses magnetized pictures of each vial to indicate its position in the tub. (3:47-4:10)

Students apply their knowledge of floating and sinking and ocean engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own submersible.

Supporting Materials for this Lesson

Sample Classroom Video
Designing a Submersible / Grade 3 / Naples, FL
Click here for a more in-depth look

Reflection Questions

What classroom techniques does Glen use to guide his students through the Engineering Design Process (EDP)?

Glen posts the EDP around his classroom as a reference for his students and uses the intro and wrap up in Lesson 4 as a way to reinforce the EDP.

  • Glen refers back to the storybook and asks his students what process Despina used to solve her problem. (00:42)
  • Glen reinforces what step his students are on by projecting “imagine” onto the whiteboard. (01:14)
  • Glen has the steps of the EDP taped to the wall as a reference for his students. (2:29)
  • Glen wraps up Lesson 4 by asking his students what process they used to solve their design challenge. (10:08)

How does Glen respond when students’ designs do not work as expected?

Glen encourages his students to see engineering failures as a learning opportunity.

  • During the improve step, Glen uses one group’s failure to make their submersible float as a learning opportunity about density. (8:42)
  • In his interview, Glen reinforces failure as a learning opportunity for both teachers and students. (10:22)