Back to the Beginning
Steps of the EDP
I had to take a step back and decide….so, what? Why does it matter if they make those tiny improvements as they see a need? Again, isn’t that what we do when we make something or repair something?
I decided to watch the kids and see what they could do without my INTERFERENCE.
Cause, let’s face it. Whose project is this? Mine or theirs?
This challenge taught me so much about the EDP. More about this later, but first, take a look at some more improvements kids made for their ramps,
The Floor Causes a Problem…
How About Bridges?
So, what was the biggest problem to solve with this challenge? The bridge supports. Kids tested different kinds of soil and then chose a composition they thought would work to keep the supporting ends upright and allow the passenger car to go across our opening.
In the photo below you see a team that chose a container of sand and gravel and a cup of modeling dough. The weight of the passenger car and the rope system made their container tip over.
They solved this problem with a piece of string used as a tie-down. The other team in the photo did the same thing!
What is my point?
- It’s natural. It is just human nature to fix something the very second we see a problem. Kids do this just like adults. When their initial design plan isn’t going together as expected they adjust their thinking and change the design.
- It is on-going. Throughout a challenge and even as they are sharing a finished model, kids will still try one more thing to make it work better. It means constant adjustments and trying again.
- The Improving step can be a very individual step. You can allow kids to reach an improvement section where they have access to new or increased materials. In the ramp challenge in this post, kids were able to revisit the materials after trying their original designs. I did have groups that completely started over. Again, this is real life.
- Some improvements are very subtle. It can be the smallest things that make the model better. In the ramp photos, I pointed out that adding a piece of paper at the bottom of the ramp changed the way the cars rolled.
- Don’t overlook this step as it unfolds before you. It’s my favorite! I love to see how kids solve problems and try and try again.