In a third grade class, we wanted students to create a solution for an everyday problem they have. We took the students through the simple design process. We wrote down the problem, brain stormed solutions, made a choice, drew a design, researched other designs, and created the new invention.
Students were required to make the whole invention in class so that we could be sure the students made it themselves. Here are some of the starting problems and the solutions the students created:
Parents give too much advice. The student made a “Quiet Down” Stick (initially a “Shut Up” stick) in which he hammered (in class) a long stick to a flat box. He brought in glue that just about intoxicated all of us. He spread it on some plastic until it dried and cut it into pieces. The idea is that this stick would shoot the plastic sticky glue onto the parents’ mouths to “quiet them down.”
I always fight with my sister. Pictured here is the “Be Nice” robot created to form a barrier between the girl and her sister. I wondered what she was up to when she came to class with a stack of shoe boxes higher than she was tall. The interesting part is that her actual robot and her drawing were almost one and the same. This is a girl with some vision.
I’m allergic to cat fur. Another interesting creation was the sticky ball on a long stick for collecting cat fur from a distance. He called is a “Fur Cume” (like a vacuum). This child decided that he could take care of his sneezing attacks if he could spot the fur from far away and clean it up with his hair ball collector. I’m not sure how many rolls of tape he used in class, but his invention was a hit.
What kind of design would you make to solve an everyday problem?
“One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson