Before you begin the design challenges . . .
Teach, model, and practice the Engineering
Design Process.
Take time to review what happens and set expectations
for student actions and behaviors during each phase.
This is especially important for younger students or
students who are new to the EDP.
Provide opportunities for
students to build/strengthen
their communication, creativity,
collaboration, and critical
thinking skills.
Students will be more successful during
the challenges if they understand and
can apply these skills.
Read the challenge and the
design challenge card. Read
them again.
Consider the skills and abilities of your students, the
materials you have available or need to gather, advance
preparation that may be required, and special materials
or equipment needed to complete the challenge or test
prototypes. Work through the challenge before doing it
with your students. Ask, “What do I need to do to make
the challenge work for me and my students?”
Though these challenges are aligned with specific grade
level skills and TEKS, they may be used across grade
levels. If you choose to do a challenge that was written for
a grade level different from the one you teach, take note
of the background knowledge students should have,
and consider the difficulty of the challenge in relation to
your students’ knowledge and abilities.
Be prepared to differentiate (simplify
or add complexity to) the challenge
to meet the needs of your students.
Consider how you will manage
materials and time.
Set up procedures for distributing
materials. Especially with younger
students, practice proper use of each
tool. If the challenge will take more
than one class period, determine what
students should accomplish each day.
Remember that STEM is a way of thinking.
Some students will approach the challenges with ease
and no fear while others will need multiple experiences
and a little coaching to confidently approach each
STEMulating design challenge.
is a
way of
© 2019 Region 4 Education Service CenterSTEMulating Design Challenges in Science, Grades K–2
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