On October 9th, 2019, we traveled with the Wood Buffalo Regional Library to Janvier and Conklin to host the READesign challenge with the students at schools in those areas. We were able to serve 47 students from kindergarten to grade 6 and read 9 different books all with different problems and engineering solutions!
We first traveled to Conklin and had an early morning session with K-3 class comprised of 5 girls and 5 boys. With this group we read “I am not a chair” by Ross Burach. This book is all about a giraffe that keeps getting confused for a chair, and the other animals keep sitting on him! This was a funny book and the kids came up with the solution to build their own chairs for the animals. They used k’nex to build and each came up with their own designs.
We then had a session with the grades 4-6 group which had 2 girls and 4 boys. They split into to 2 groups and read a different book.
The first group read Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe by Katie Howes which was a book about Magnolia Mudd who loves to build different inventions! When her Uncle Jamie asks her to be the flower girl at his wedding she is not too happy about it, until she figures out that she can invent her own flower petal launch for the wedding! This group decided to use littlebits and craft supplies to recreate their own version of the flower launcher.
The second group read Ducks Disappearing by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor which is about a little boy at a motel that notices the ducklings in the courtyard keep disappearing! After some investigation the boy discovers that the ducklings keep falling down the drain and can’t get up! The students used k’nex to make a type of well with pulley system using string and a cup to lower down and collect the ducks. This was quite a challenging build and we weren’t able to finish all of our designs but the students worked really hard to build a working prototype!
In the afternoon, we went to Janvier and had a session with the grade 1/2 class. This class had 7 girls and 6 boys and together we read ‘Can Somebody Please Scratch my Back?” by Jory John. This book is about an elephant who has a horrible itch on his back but he cannot find a way to scratch it, and none of the other animals are being helpful at all! The students used k’nex to build their own back-scratchers and they came up with some very unique, fun and funky designs!
Finally we were with the grades 3/4 class in Janvier which was out biggest class of 13 girls and 5 boys. The class split into 5 groups who each read a different book.
The first group read Beaver the Carpenter by Lars Klinting, which is about a beaver who loves to build and has a ton of tools but no tool box to put them in. In the book the beaver builds his own toolbox and the girls in this group decided to build their own toolboxes as well, and decorate them with beautiful designs! They were very creative!
Another group of girls read The Perfect Pillow by Eric Pinder. It is about a boy who is having trouble sleeping in his new room so he goes on a search for the perfect place to sleep, trying out bird’s nest and even a cloud! Finally he returns to his room with his snuggly stuffy and uses that as his perfect pillow. The girls decided to make their own perfect pillow and cut and folded cloth into a pillow shape and stuffed it with soft cotton balls. So comfy one of their classmates decided to try it out!
The next group read a book called ‘Don’t Wake Up the Bear’ by Marjorie Dennis Murray which is about a cold winter night where all the animals of the forest try to snuggle into the bear’s den to keep warm but they have to be very careful not to wake the bear up! The students decided they would build a mini den to keep the animals warm so they won’t have to go to the bear’s den. They used insulating materials like styrofoam cups, cardboard and cotton balls and wrapped it all in plastic wrap to keep the warm air inside. Toasty!
A pair of girls read the book Heather Fell in the Water by Doug MacLeod about a young girl who keeps falling in the water wherever she goes! This pair decided to build a flotation device for Heather to help her float whenever she fell in the water. They used balloons, bubble wrap and pipe cleaners as their materials to build a handy device for Heather.
The final group read One Dark Night by Hazel Hutchins which is about a boy that notices a stray cat outside on a dark stormy night trying to protect her kittens! The boy invites her inside and helps her and her kittens stay warm by wrapping them in a blanket. This group decided to make their own little cat beds for the kittens using cardboard, cloth, cotton and even plastic coverings to protect from rain!
All of the students were able to practice being engineers and solving problems, each using their own creativity to make something unique! And they had lots of fun reading the books and learning about the different storybook characters! Looking forward to next time!