On May 12th, the first graders welcomed Curious Kids for an animal engineering makers and tinkers class. The children learned concepts of adaptation and instinct by discussing animals at risk of sunburn from the sun's ultraviolet rays and ways that these animals combat this risk.
They read a book called Fun in the Sun, by David Catrow and non-fiction passages about different animals. One that is not at risk of sunburn, one that has an instinctive behavior that helps diminish the risk of sunburn, and one that has developed an adaptation to help with the risk of sunburn. Next, they discussed what engineering was and how they could create a solution to solve the problem of sunburn. First, they used pipe cleaners with UV sensitive beads and constructed an animal. Next, they engaged in writing a planning process to design and build a "sun shelter" for the animal. Once done, they were able to test their sun shelter by placing their animal in sunlight to see if the UV sensitive beads reacted. Then they were able to revise their design if needed.
This was an educational and super fun program for the kids! Everyone enjoyed touring the room to see what ideas everyone came up with.