This is the second year Tom McCall’s first graders dove into an engineering activity on how a house’s shape and material used effect how it can hold up to different types of weather.  This activity began with demonstrating the differences between solids, liquids, and gases (more specifically – snow, hail, wind, and rain), and how these differences might affect how an engineer designs a house.  Students identified reasons for shapes of roofs, along with material used to keep a sturdy house during storms. From that information, students worked in groups of 2-3 to design and build a house (prototype) that they felt could hold up to one of the for types of weather.  With a budget and a list of possible material to use, these young engineers went to town.  They collaborated, combined ideas, and created a prototype.  Then the fun began!  Did their house still stand?  Testing it up against the elements was a little disappointing for some, and exciting for others, as they saw their engineering and team skills come together.  Always a great two-day project.  Interested in doing this activity?  Contact Vickie Perryman or check out the activity here!

building house