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Elementary Science

5th grade science

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Kelly Forbes Kelly Forbes 535 Points

I am currently a student and I am in my science methods course.  I am teaching engineering to my fifth graders.  What are some activities or videos you have done with or shown your fifth graders regarding engineering. I am looking for some "hooks" as well as some fun activites to get them excited about engineering! 

Arrie Winston Arrie Winston 1020 Points

What about constructing a robot as a group activity or a shoe box car.

Celine Payne Celine Payne 20 Points

I'm not sure the time-frame you have to engage students in engineering, however something that you should look into are GoGo Boards ( These small circuit boards allow you to manipulate light, proximity, magnetic, temperatures sensors etc. and lets students create code to manipulate these sensors. The GoGo board allows for a lot of creativity once students become slightly familiar with how to form their code. Although this may not be something you could implement in your classroom now, it might be interesting to try out in future years since it's becoming more and more common to expose younger students to programming and engineering. You'd be surprised at the multitude of projects you can create from just a small circuit board.

H Mortimer H Mortimer 20 Points

Hi Kelly, some experiments that are fifth grade to middle school appropriate may be: solar oven, KNEX buildings/cars, balloon cars, marble catapult, simple motors, alka seltzer rockets / flying film canisters, simple circuits, a simple computer programming lesson (I don't have a good resource for this), paper airplanes (competition for longest distance, acrobatics, glide time - Youtube has lots of instructional videos for these), paper propeller cars (Lou Vee air car), and Rube Goldberg machines. I hope this helps!

Chris Brantner Chris Brantner 20 Points

I would also consider having students blog about their learning at the end of the lesson. Students can explain their thinking, and then comment on one another's and ask questions. It's a great way to see their level of understanding. You could also consider using your own blog, and having them give explanations on questions you ask in the comment sections. For more on how to start blogging, check out Scribblrs.

Shelby Rhodes Shelby Rhodes 815 Points

There are a lot of great engineering activities and videos out there to help you. However, I think that "hooking" the students is a great idea because it will grab their attention and the hook might consist of a video that should be related to what they are about to participate in. Some ideas for hands-on learning include: building a circuit, building a "roller coaster" with classroom materials (use a marble as the coaster), constructing a car, making a catapult or simple machine. There are a lot of great ideas out there and materials can consist of things used in the classroom or found at a local grocery/hardware store. Some resources for videos and instructions include: youtube, pinterest, PBS teacher resources and

Jane Brooker Jane Brooker 1045 Points

Hello! I am also a student so I absolutely love the ideas that have been posted in this forum. I will be doing my student teaching this year in third grade and am already thinking about how I can modify these great ideas to meet the learning standards for third grade. As far as a hook goes, I had students build cars out of different candies and materials such as tooth picks. The kids worked together in a collaborative learning environment and had a blast! We had them test their cars down the ramp and had them make predictions about how fast/how far their cars would go on different slopes. We also had them draw a model of their cars because modeling is such an essential part of the engineering process. I wish you the best of luck on your journey towards becoming a great teacher!

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