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Can you help Hansel & Gretel design two houses? – A 2nd Grade STEAM Challenge

Learning to re-purpose materials for a better option is an important skill for our sustainable future. In the lesson Take Apart and Build Anew, students are tasked with helping Hansel and Gretel utilize the materials from an abandoned house to create two identical houses.

This lesson starts with students being given a bag of materials that represents those on the house (materials list above) that Hansel and Gretel found in the forest. Teams are challenged to use the materials to construct a pair of identical houses.

Each STEAM Design Challenge is centered around the thought that there are real-world problems that need solutions. This challenge provides a specific focus on the blueprint phase of the engineering design process. Students must sketch out their ideas and as a team, using speaking and listening skills, then come to a consensus on the blueprint design they will ultimately engineer.

The uniqueness of this challenge is the materials. In most of our challenges, there is autonomy in the materials that the teams use; however, with this one, the materials are uniform. This also provides an opportunity for a gallery walk in which students are able to see their “competition” and consider how they could potentially enhance their structures.

This challenge is one that could be used during the holiday season as a unique way to incorporate gingerbread houses into classroom learning. Extend the lesson by creating a village that can be displayed during school events.

Submit the form at the end of this post to receive an email with a link to the downloadable PDF of this STEAM Design Challenge.

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