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Parachute Challenge

Grade 1 Engineering Design Unit –

Albert Einstein said, “Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been.” It’s never too early to be an engineer, and our students think Einstein would agree!

Throughout their Engineering Design Unit, RIS first graders worked hard to ask questions, make observations, imagine plans, and create models to solve problems. From engineering their own backscratchers to the creation of zip lines carrying cargo across their classrooms, these students shared their sense of imagination while honoring their commitment to collaboration in their teams!

In each engineering challenge, first graders analyzed simple data and discussed strengths and weaknesses reflected in their designs. They spent valuable time improving their models to optimize their success.  

During the “Parachute Challenge,” the students timed the flight of each drop and made adjustments to see what would happen! When creating zip lines, students needed to investigate the relationship between friction and materials to achieve their goal of safely delivering their ‘passenger’ to their destination. Students studied bridges and made some of their own using only paper and tape! 

Engineering doesn’t stop here for RIS’ first graders! The design cycle can be applied to any content area—from art to math, writing to social studies! RIS elementary school students will continue to frame their thinking using the tools they’ve learned in science class!