This week my favorite 4th grade teacher was doing a science lesson on technology. She invited me to come watch her students be inspired with STEM!

The teacher was lucky enough to go to a science workshop this summer. This workshop and the Engineering is Elementary website really got her inspired.

The week started off with the question, "What is technology?". They brainstormed ideas did a little worksheet circling what items they thought were technology, and getting a definition. The students were then handed a lunch bag with 1 item in it, as a table group they needed to discuss if the item was technology and why they thought it was or wasn't (in the bags: mechanical pencil, staple remover, rock, leaf, pen, calculator and a spoon). They ended the lesson with reevaluating their paper "What is Technology?".

The students were then asked "What are the people called that design technology?" The answer of course is Engineers. The students were then told they were going to be engineers. Each table group was given 20 dried spaghetti noodles, some tape, some string and a miniature marshmallow. They needed to construct the tallest structure that would hold the marshmallow on top. The students used the design process to ask, imagine, plan, create and improve their structure.

Table 1 was the winner! 

After the week of science, technology, math and engineering (I could not make it in on all the days to watch the math and other engineering lessons) the students are making a little booklet to keep all their work together. The students designed their own covers (a completed one below), I can't wait to see them completely finished and on the bulletin board.

I hope this little lesson inspires you to let your students get their hands "dirty" while exploring STEM!

I can't wait to see what inspiration I will find this next week as I wonder the halls :)

Happy teaching!


  1. Wow, I am impressed with your web site! This a great tool for teachers to get inspired. I will come back to this site to see all the new information you will post in the future :) I really like how you put this all together Shawna.

  2. I would have put my name instead of anonymous, but I wasn't sure how the other choices worked!!! Janet


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!