Helping people in developing communities around the world is a focus for many engineers. How familiar are your fifth-grade students with the developing world? Can they i... ...more
Helping people in developing communities around the world is a focus for many engineers. How familiar are your fifth-grade students with the developing world? Can they image a world without computers, cell phones and giant steel skyscrapers? Can they imagine creating a home using local materials? This activity introduces students to a community in Peru where homes are built from adobe bricks—a concept that might be very new for young students! In addition to providing children with a new perspective on the world, this activity teaches the fundamental concepts of variables (independent, dependent and control) and proportions while youngsters get their hands dirty through experiments to determine what materials mixture creates the strongest adobe bricks. By activity end, students have learned about the importance of experimentation and testing for engineering success, as well as gained new insights on unfamiliar places in the world. ...less
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