DCD 3rd Grade students recently put on their engineering hats and responded to a request from their science teacher, Mrs. Shirley, to design and build a prototype seismograph so that our school could be prepared to measure slight movements in the ground beneath us! This project required the students to move through the phases of engineering and design in an organized and collaborative way.
First, they spent time researching and understanding what a seismograph is and does and then imagining and brainstorming ideas for creating their own. The next step was to plan and create a vision for the machine. This involved individual students presenting their own plans and ideas for how to use the collection of materials provided and their proposed designs. In small groups, the students then needed to collaborate and listen to each other’s ideas and come up with a collective solution. The excitement in the room was contagious as these young engineers moved into the prototyping and testing phase of the design process. They learned that an important part of this final stage was to use their observations from testing to revisit their designs, and make improvements. So if the ground beneath us should shake, DCD is well prepared!