Lesson 4

Thinking Inside the Box: Designing Plant Packages

Designing a Plant Package / Grade 3 / Louisville, KY

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Thinking Inside the Box: Designing Plant Packages, L4

Students focus on the package engineering problem of meeting the needs of a plant product and the consumer as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own plant packages. 

Reflection Questions

Erin’s class produces a wide range of solutions to the plant packaging problem. What strategies do you see Erin using to promote this kind of divergent thinking?

Erin has set up a classroom culture that values individual thinking—students are not encouraged to agree on one “right answer” or do things the same way.

  • In the Imagine step, Erin is very explicit about having groups come up with two different designs before moving on to Plan. (1:29)
  • Erin’s students are proud of and take ownership of their unique ideas. (2:23 and 6:32)
  • Erin encourages and motivates her students to think differently by saying things like “You have an idea? Go for it!” or “You’re poking the holes before you put it on there. Very good.”

What strategies does Erin use to connect student actions to the Engineering Design Process (EDP)?

Erin is always explicit about what step her students are working on and relates their work back to the process that Fadil used in the storybook.

  • Before starting today’s lesson, Erin reviews where they are in the EDP, and reviews the issues they addressed during the Ask stage. (0:26–1:00)
  • Erin reminds her students of the EDP in the storybook when she asks them to recall what Fadil did during the Imagine phase. (1:08)
  • When beginning the Create stage, Erin specifically calls out the planning process, reminding them to refer to the plans they made when they start building. (3:10)