Lesson 4

A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls

Designing a Wall / Grade 2 / Hollywood, FL

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls - Lesson 4

Students apply their knowledge of earth materials and materials engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve mortar mixtures and design their own walls.

Reflection Questions

How is student learning supported and enhanced through the use of EiE handouts?

The Engineering Design Process handouts help structure and set the pace for student learning. The handouts help to focus students on the key engineering skills or questions needed at each step.

  • Students use the handout to help them come up with different ideas for how to make mortar. This process helps students consider multiple solutions to the same problem. (1:36)
  • Teams consider the pros and cons of the four solutions they have come up with. When debating which idea to try, they practice collaborative skills and learn about compromise. (2:20)
  • Students make diagrams of the model wall they will build. As they review and critique their written plans, they practice communicating their ideas and justifying their choices. (2:49)

What kinds of things does Chentel do to reduce the stress and the mess that this unit might create in the classroom?

Chentel protects all the desks from mud and clay, sets up a designated materials table and a drying center, and carefully controls the testing of wall strength.

  • Throughout the video, you can see that all desks are covered with blue and green waterproof tablecloths.
  • Chentel has prepared material sets for each group that include cups of 30 pre-counted rocks. (3:01)
  • Students collect scoops of soil, sand, and clay from a materials table that is organized and staffed by an adult volunteer. (3:49)
  • Chentel has the class sit on the rug and invites one pair to sit next to the testing station and make observations while she controls the demolition ball. (4:55)