Lesson 4

Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems

Designing a Lighting System / Grade 3 / Fairfax, VT

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems, L4

Students apply their knowledge of light and optical engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own lighting systems. 

Reflection Questions

What do you notice about the way Sandy has students think about the constraints of the design challenge?

Sandy works with students to develop an understanding of constraints and to create a list of specific limitations.

  • Rather than providing a definition, Sandy asks her students to share what they think the term constraint might mean. (0:41)
  • She refers to the constraints as “boundaries for the project,” hoping that her students’ familiarity with boundaries will help them construct a definition for constraint. (0:56)
  • Rather than present the list of constraints as outlined in the guide, Sandy has her students come up with “things that cannot change.” (1:13)
  • She creates a chart of all the questions students have about the project before they start, helping them identify the constraints. (2:10)
  • Sandy introduces the cost constraint as the very last part of her introduction to the challenge. (3:12)

What do you notice about the cooperative learning skills that Sandy’s students exhibit?

Sandy’s students show evidence of training and practice with teamwork. They cooperate and collaborate well on this project. 

  • During the Plan stage, one student acknowledges the other’s thinking by saying, “That’s a pretty good idea to put a mirror right near it.” (7:09)
  • All members of the groups seem to be equally invested in the plan, which shows that no one is being left out of the design process. (8:28)
  • Before recording how well each hieroglyph can be seen, groups compare observations and listen to each other’s thoughts about how well they could see. (9:48)