gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Windmill Engineers Show Grit and Resilience

on October 25, 2014


3rd grade students used their knowledge of sail design to build a working windmill that could move different weights of washers in a paper cup.  Students had to consider the different properties of materials we had used in class.   Rather than following a step by step procedure, they needed to come up with their own design.  Students were willing to embrace their mistakes, problem solve, and persevere through the project.  Our innovative lesson reinforced the positive character traits of grit and resilience that students need to make a difference in the world.  I was impressed with the empathy my students showed to one another as they coached and encouraged each other to reach success in this project.

Some student quotes shared at the end of the project:

Sydney “It was a lot of work making the windmills.  It was frustrating when you make mistakes and failed.  We kept at it and were able to create a great design in the end.  This is how science works.”

Bryan”At first, our group was really frustrated when nothing was working in the beginning of the class.  We could not get the windmill to spin at all.  But after all the hard work we finally were successful.   This made the us feel even more excited at the end of the project.”


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