Lesson 1

Taking the Plunge: Designing Submersibles

Despina Makes a Splash / Grade 5 / Lawrence, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE- Taking the Plunge: Designing Submersibles Lesson 1

A storybook introduces the engineering challenge and context. In this story, Despina, a girl from Greece, learns about ocean engineering as she designs her own submersible.

Reflection Questions

What do you notice about the way George makes use of both the basic and advanced EiE worksheets provided in the binder?

Rather than having each child fill in the Advanced Lesson 1 handout individually, George projects it on the white board and uses it as a discussion guide. Later, he projects the Basic handout and students come to the front of the class to fill it out.

  • Referring pages 20 and 21 of the storybook as a guide, students contribute ideas to the discussion about how Despina completed the Ask step of the Engineering Design Process (EDP). (4:30)
  • George has a student read page 30 of the storybook aloud, then he discusses how Despina completed the Imagine and Plan steps of the EDP in the passage. (5:22)
  • For review after the discussion, George has students take turns filling in the Basic handout that he has projected on the white board. (7:10)

How does George rely on the storybook characters to help him introduce key science and engineering concepts?

George provides context by displaying photos from the book and referring to the characters as he explains science and engineering concepts.

  • When comparing the buoyancy of salt water and fresh water, George displays an image of Despina diving in the ocean to remind students where salt water comes from. (1:39)
  • When discussing the Improve step of the EDP, George refers back to Despina and predicts that it may take her five or six tries before she gets Chrisanthy’s goggles. (6:22)
  • To prepare his students for the struggles they may encounter when trying to design a submersible, George emphasizes Despina’s “drive and desire” and how it helped her achieve her goal. (6:54)