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Fifty children from the Glenside Elementary Summer Academy put on their “Engineer Thinking-Caps” to learn about Engineering on July 10, 2019. The children in grades K-3 worked to design and build 3 fun projects at stations run by the Berks LaunchBox staff. They built a shelter for a small pompom creature they were given, a boat out of foil which they had to see how many marbles it could hold before sinking, and the tallest tower they could make out of toothpicks and marshmallows.

These exercises allowed them to believe that they can solve problems.  While our workshop focused on structural problems, these challenges let them design and redesign their solution for the best possible outcome.  (More marbles, better strength, safer, taller tower).  This design and redesign is what makes up the the design process and it showed that it is okay if your design fails, learn from it, and make it better. Also, their designs included what was important to them.  The shelter designs included everything from a bathroom, living room, entertainment systems, pet-friendly furniture designs, windows, pet food and decorations. These items were not apart of the directions “to build a shelter for your pet”, but these designs let us see into the mind of tomorrow’s engineers!