Grade 4 students began their new IPC unit this week called ‘Time Tunnel’. During this unit, students will explore the history of the different Chinese dynasties. The entry point involved students participating in a STEAM challenge. Their challenge was to reimagine the Chinese invention of the kite. Students worked collaboratively in pairs and applied the design thinking process to create a modern version of the kite. The design thinking framework involves five key steps including, empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.
The first phase challenged students ‘Empathise’ with the topic. Students participated in three small workshops that looked the history of the kite and the importance of it to Chinese people. The students then ‘Defined’ the challenge, to reimagine the kite. The next step in the design cycle is ‘Ideate’. Working with their partner, students brainstormed 8 different design possibilities. These possibilities were narrowed down to two, using a ranking template. Students had to consider the buildability, usability, materials and wow factor when selecting their final two designs. Students drew up a plan for their two ‘Prototypes’ considering the different forces that would affect the flight of the kite including, lift, weight, drag and thrust. Students then used recyclable materials to construct their two prototypes.
Next week, students will ‘Test’ the two prototypes. Students will be testing the duration of the flight, the height of the kite and the durability of the kite. Students will consider the information that they gain from this test to construct their final design. Before testing the final kites, students will make a hypothesis about each other’s kites considering the forces of flight. All final designs will be tested to see what group can create the most efficient modern kite!