KQED Education and Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) are working together to present a workshop at this year’s California Science Education Conference on October 19 – 21 in San Jose. We’ll introduce open-ended, creative activities that explore K-2 students’ understanding of physical science and math concepts in structures they see everyday, such as buildings, playgrounds, and bridges. Workshop participants will use two and three-dimensional shapes to design, construct, test and evaluate their own structures.
We’ll introduce online PBS videos that explain the kinds of shapes used to build strong structures or what it takes to be a civil engineer. We’ll also watch how Curious George solves a problem by constructing a toothpick bridge! By exploring the science of structures in the classroom, educators can keep young children’s fascination with building and construction alive.
Use this slideshow of different man-made structures as a way to introduce children to identifying geometric shapes all around them. Try the dowel design and toothpick/marshmallow activities from LHS’s ‘Build It! Festival’ guide to explore strength and stability. For more challenging activities check out PBS’s Design Squad Nation’s activities on structures. Finally, here is a list of children’s books that would go hand-in-hand with all of these lessons!
If you’re attending the conference this year, come join us on Friday afternoon at 1 pm for ‘Shapes, Strength, & Stability: Bringing Out the Builder in All of Us’.