Sunday, May 25, 2008

Toy Design Challenge

Sally Ride Science ( sponsors a national toy design challenge called TOYchallenge for 5th-8th graders.
The TOYchallenge is a chance for teams of imaginative kids to create a new toy or game.
Toys are a great way to learn about science, engineering, and the design process! As girls and boys create a toy or game, they experience engineering as a fun, creative, collaborative process, relevant to everyday life.
TOYchallenge follows the Nationals Standards.

Kids grow through engaging in TOYchallenge in many other ways, too: from developing a sense of teamwork, to becoming familiar with the engineering design process and building self-confidence.

Each TOYchallenge team needs an adult coach to support the team as they work together to brainstorm, research, design, and test their creation. The coach is not there to tell the kids what to do, but to support and guide a team from brainstorming to building and exhibiting a working prototype (and we give the coaches lots of advice and support, too).

The competition results in a lot of "self-learning" - students learn things that they need to know on their own, skills that they don't always learn in school. When they form their own plans and come to their own conclusions, students not only retain what they've learned better, but they also feel more empowered, motivated and fulfilled. They learn skills they will use for the rest of their lives, whatever they choose to do as a career: imagination and collaboration skills are as important as engineering ideas.

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