On Thursday, May 8, 2014, second grade students at Castle Creek Elementary participated in an engineering design challenge with the goal of creating a sail car that could travel the farthest distance. The workshop was the next installment in the “Engineering Our Future” initiative sponsored by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Orlando Science Center.

The program utilizes the nationally recognized curriculum “Engineering is Elementary” and combines it with teacher support in the classroom as well as in-classroom student workshops provided by Orlando Science Center. The Science Center recently earned their endorsement to become an official EiE collaborator through Museum of Science, Boston.

Here, the second grade team is working on the unit “Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills.” It spans eight weeks and will culminate with the students applying the knowledge they have learned over the last several weeks to compete in a final design challenge to create a windmill.

Photo Credit: RF Photography

The response from the teachers and students has been overwhelming.

"I had a teachable moment with my class today [on the history and evolution of the pencil]," said Jennifer Pitts, a teacher at Castle Creek Elementary. "I have not had that in a while as we gear towards standardized testing and teaching. I forgot how much fun it was to explain something and come up with ideas solely based on their thinking process and questions.

She continued, "Thank you so much for allowing us (and me) to experience this again. It is essentially why we become teachers!"

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