• Kindergarten and Children's House

    We've started the year in Kindergarten learning from some of the best authors who have written about what engineers actually do! These books are Engineering Elephants, If I Were an Engineer, and Rosie Revere, Engineer! We're quickly learning that engineers have greatly influenced our lives, designing things that make our lives simpler and better.  We focus on natural vs. human-made objects. Kindergartners then quickly jump in and learn just how important engineers are in our lives!  After reading some great literature, they begin a simple classification system (sorting) to identify what engineers have designed and what they have not designed.

    The kindergarteners are partaking in their first engineering design challenge.  For this challenge, we read The Big Smelly Bear and identified the problem he was having.  We then came up with a solution to help The Big Smelly Bear, designed our solutions and created them. 

    Problem:  The Big Smelly Bear has an itch on his back that he cannot reach. 

    Solution:  Make a backscratcher for The Big Smelly Bear that can reach the itch.

    Design:  We drew what our back scratchers. 

    Build:  Student were given craft sticks, cardboard, pipe cleaners, straws, and tape to create their backscratcher.  

    Big Smelly Bear Backscratcher

    Montorssi E1, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grades

    In our first unit, students created cars made from cardboard, straws, and bamboo skewers. During classroom implementation, students were challenged to apply their science and math knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills to get their car to travel as far as possible.  Students collected the distance their car traveled on a data table.  After the first testing session, the students were allowed to make the changes they saw fit to improve the distance their car traveled.  

    Cardboard Car

    4th Grade

    I’m excited to share with you that your child will be participating in the 2017-2018 Minnesota Zoo ZOOMS Design Challenge. This integrated STEM program offers students a chance to develop a solution to a real problem face by zookeepers and staff at the Minnesota Zoo.  During classroom implementation, students will be challenged to apply their science and math knowledge, creativity, teamwork, problem solving and research skills to best solve the problem and present a solution.  The selected projects will be invited to showcase their design challenge solution at the ZOOMS Design Challenge Exhibition in March at the Minnesota Zoo for a chance to win an animal backstage pass experience with a zoo naturalist, a zookeeper and an opportunity to pitch their design idea!

    2017-2018 Enrichment Design Challenge:

    Amur Tigers Enrichment Design - Design a durable and engaging enrichment device to encourage the natural behaviors for the three Amur Tigers at the Minnesota Zoo: Putin, Dari, and Patricia.

    Enrichment Design Challenge Guidelines

    Here are some studetns enrichment design.

    Enrichment Enrichment Design Enrichment Design  Enrichment Design

    Montorssi E2 and 5th Grade

    I’m excited to share with you that your child will be participating in the 2017-2018 Minnesota Zoo ZOOMS Design Challenge. This integrated STEM program offers students a chance to develop a solution to a real problem faced by zookeepers and staff at the Minnesota Zoo. During classroom implementation, students will be challenged to apply their science and math knowledge, creativity, teamwork, problem solving and research skills to best solve the problem and present a solution. The selected projects will be invited to showcase their design challenge solution at the ZOOMS Design Challenge Exhibition in March at the Minnesota Zoo for a chance to win an animal backstage pass experience with a zoo naturalist, a zookeeper and an opportunity to pitch their design idea!

    2017-2018 Design Challenge:

    Amur Tigers Exhibit Redesign - The Amur Tiger Basecamp exhibit needs to be brought into the 21st century with a new immersive design that balances keeper, animal, and visitor needs.

    Exhibit Design Challenge Guidelines

    Here are some stundets exhibit designs.  We are in the early stages of designing.

    Basecamp Design Basecamp Design