Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

Let's Go Camping: Grade Level: 3rd

Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

Let's Go Camping: Grade Level: 3rd

Article excerpt

The STEM Preservice Teacher Spotlight is dedicated to recognizing future elementary STEM educators who are enrolled in innovative elementary STEM education programs. The universities featured in this section believe these nominated students are inventive, engaging, and fun future STEM elementary teachers. These students are excited to share some of the great things they are learning in their STEM programs!

This issue's spotlight is on:

Molly Brogan

Molly Brogan is a senior in the Engineering Technology Teacher Education program at Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Molly would like to teach Elementary/Middle School. When asked why she likes creating STEM activities, Molly says, "Engineering and Technology Education provides students with the chance to see how topics they learn in school are applied in the real world. With engineering and technology, they are able to combine all of their school subjects to create projects that can have a direct impact on the community." Molly was nominated by Greg Strimel, who chose her because: "Molly is an extremely motivated and talented preservice engineering/technology teacher. She enjoys crafting learning experiences for children that integrate disciplinary content knowledge through engaging engineering challenges. Molly will certainly help inspire the next generation of designers, makers, and innovators."

Molly's Shared Activity


STL: 2 Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.

Benchmark L-> Requirements are the limits to designing or making a product or system.

NGSS: 3-5-ETS1-2 -> Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


In groups of 2-3, students will design and produce a shelter for camping that will keep them dry overnight. During this activity, students will be introduced to a simplified engineering design process and presented with a variety of materials to solve the challenge. Additionally, the groups will be provided with a handout describing the pros and cons of each material. Throughout the design process, each group will need to make and justify decisions as to which materials they will use for their shelter designs. The class will then test a model of each groups design to evaluate how the design decisions addressed the criteria and constraints for the challenge. The students are also required to document their use of the engineering design process to assess their knowledge and application of information.


Our class is taking a hiking trip to learn more about nature. …

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