‘What helps an airplane fly?’ ‘An engine!’
As part of the Design Thinking Unit, our grade 2 students had a guest teacher, also a parent to a student in the class, an engineer who designs jet engines. He kindly came to speak to the class about how he uses the Design Cycle when designing engines.
'These pieces were actually used as parts of a jet engine. Can you guess which parts?'
He asked, showing a couple of engine parts along with an illustration of an engine. The students were so thrilled to see and touch actual engine parts that they almost started fighting over them.
In 2nd grade's Design Thinking Unit, their central idea is ‘people apply their understanding of design thinking to visualize and solve problems’. They are using the Design Cycle to understand the process of designing products:
1st step: Inquiring and Analyzing
2nd step: Developing Ideas
3rd step: Creating the Solution
4th step: Evaluating
The parent shared that he and his co-workers follow exactly the same cycle in their work, which helped the students to make a connection between their central idea and a real-life example. They really enjoyed touching and observing the details of the engine parts. They learned that a jet engine needs thousands of different parts to fly an airplane!
As an international learning community, we are fortunate to have parents from all different cultural and career backgrounds, and many of them are willing to be involved in our students’ learning process. The parents’ involvement benefits the learning, not only because they bring different cultures and skills to the classroom, but also because the students are inspired by various role models being part of the society, using their strengths.
The grade 2 students are now building their own products based on their design planning. We look forward to seeing their final products and listening to their design story!