The Discovery Museum's Try It Truck came to Mount Tamalpais School in January 2018. The truck is an "engineering lab on wheels" that introduces students to the engineering design process with both high and low tech tools that encourage them to experiment and try new ideas. The truck visited MTS for 3 days of activities for grades K-2, and it was such a resounding success that we brought it back for a second week, so that third and fourth grades could also participate. Here are some highlights from the first week.
WEEK 1, DAY 1
The first day of the visit, students were able to explore a number of different stations, which included:
- Hammering wood
- Dismantling computers, adding machines, and old calculators
- Laser cutting hand-made designs drawn on tablets
- Manipulating clay to simulate a beaver dam, crab shell, or bee hive
WEEK 1, DAY 2
Students were presented a "problem" experienced by a local animal and were then challenged to "solve" the problem with a custom design. The local animal on this day was the hummingbird. Students learned about the small size of hummingbirds, and their correspondingly tiny eggs. They discussed the importance of creating nests that can withstand wind, predators, and keep the eggs warm. After students spent several minutes drawing their prototypes, students were then given a wide array of materials to build and test their designs. A station was set up with fans in order to see whether the nests could hold up against the wind.
Week 1, Day 3
Day 3 of the Try It Truck, K-2 students were presented a new challenge focused around bats. They learned about bats and how bat shelters differ from those of hummingbirds. Unlike hummingbirds, bats sleep upside down, and enter their shelters from the bottom.
As such, students had to create a shelter for a bat that:
1) Is warm and narrow
2) Is rough on the inside
3) Has an entrance at the bottom
What Parents are Saying
"So excited the 3rd graders get to experience the Try it Truck!" - Michelle Young
"Amazing! Chase has really loved this! Brilliant idea" - Katrina O'Connell
"Thanks so much for the opportunity to volunteer at the Try it Truck yesterday. What a great program!" -Kristin Baehner
"We heard a lot about the truck at home, ..obviously we should get her some power tools next Christmas ;)" - Laura Moore
"Aisling absolutely loved the truck too! She went to great lengths to explain in detail every activity! She was super enthusiastic." Orlaith Dolly