The Enhanced Block Party: Conclusion


We’ve now gone through each of
the nine Engineering Play Behaviors. It is now up to you to
put them together for an extended observation of
children’s engineering play. Let’s take a look at a longer segment
of children’s construction play. This segment features the boys
engaging in an incredible trial and error sequence where they must plan,
design and construct, problem-solve and evaluate to complete their goal of
getting a ball across two ramps, and a complicated block structure. As you watch, think about each of
the engineering play behaviors. How do these behaviors each
contribute to the design process? How do they work together? How are these children engineering? And how does the adult successfully
facilitate the children’s interactions?>>Yeah, this looks cool.>>It does.>>And here’s a ramp. Here’s the bridge.
>>A ramp? What are you gonna use the ramps for?
>>What is this for?>>The ramps are for->>What is this for?
What is this for?>>Dylan, I asked Matthew a question. I asked him what his ramps are for? Do you see what he’s using? What are you going to make with the ramp?
>>Like this. Just gonna make it like that.
>>So what does this look like?>>Just like a flat runway.>>A runway.>>But we need to make a wall right here.
>>Okay.>>So they won’t fall.>>There’s a cannon too.>>And there’s more over there too.>>There’s a cannon too. Okay, this goes here, here, here. And this goes here. And then I’m gonna-
>>Can I have these?
>>Sure.>>Now, can you make
your castle any taller? Or is it as tall as you can build it?
>>It’s as tall as you can build it but you still need to get some things-
>>What did you say, Matthew? Stop yelling. Dylan, hold on.
>>I still need to do something right here.
>>With what?>>With the blocks. [NOISE]
This isn’t the block I need. This is the block I need. This is huge. Right here.
>>Now why did you choose that particular block?
>>So it doesn’t [SOUND] uh-oh.>>But why did you pick that one? How’s that helping your castle?
>>To protect the ramp.>>How does it protect it?>>From the balls,
the more poisonous balls.>>Look, that’s a good idea.
>>That is. You’ve got your fire protecting. And Matthew’s building
walls around his castle.>>And if any bad guys come, this will block it.
>>See what he did with this piece here. Why did you put that one under it?
>>So it doesn’t fall down.>>So it doesn’t fall down. So you kinda balanced it, right?
>>Yeah, I need to put this back.>>Aha.>>Do you have an idea for that?>>Let’s make->>What could you use that for?>>We have to make a canyon.>>A canyon.>>A cannon. Now there’s one very important
thing you haven’t tested out yet.>>This ramp.>>Right, and what were you gonna use for the ramp?
>>The ball.>>Mm-hm, before our time is done, you get to play with them now.
>>Okay, that’s better.>>Use up that time with the balls now.>>I have to block that. I have to block all this.
>>Is that a good idea?>>Yes.
>>It is, but did you hear what Matthew said? He has to try and block. What are you gonna try and block, Matthew?
>>The ramp so nothing falls out.>>And you know what->>I have an idea. You have to do this.
>>Did that help, Matthew?
>>A little bit but I need still 20 more pieces.
>>How do you know it helped a little bit?>>Because it fell back on the ramp.>>Okay, so it didn’t go as far?>>Put the thing here to make it bounce.
>>No, Dylan.>>Dylan, we don’t need it there.
>>Matthew, explain to him what you’re doing with the wall.
>>I’m trying to make the balls not fall off.
>>So the ball will go here, all the way to here,
jump down here, go in here and then go out.
>>So, Matthew, what did you do to your wall so the ball would not come out?
>>I’m gonna put this right->>You made it.>>I’m going to put this right here.>>Yep, you made your wall taller.>>And then when it comes out, it’s going to bounce back.
>>That’s a good idea.>>Yeah, and this->>Now I need a little more pieces.>>And this will block the real door of the castle that’s not made yet. And this will be it, and
then this thing will go here. And if the bad guys walk by,
they’ll bounce back down.>>There is better.
>>You just tested your idea and it didn’t come out.
>>Dylan, watch.>>That was good thinking, Matthew. [SOUND]
>>Okay.>>Do you wanna try a different size ball, Matthew?
>>Okay.>>Maybe that might work.
>>Dylan, can you put that work?>>Nope. No, I’m gonna do this.
>>Dylan, now it won’t work.
>>This goes here. This goes here.
>>Careful, Dylan.>>This goes here. This goes here. This goes here. This goes here.
This goes here.>>So, you’re rebuilding the wall?
>>Yeah. Put that back there.
>>No.>>This thing goes here and then these things go like this.
>>Okay, now let’s test this.
>>And then this thing goes onto here.>>That will not work.>>Why not?>>It did not work.>>But it’s another bridge. I know a good idea. [NOISE]
>>That did not work. I have to block right here.
>>Okay.>>No, the ball doesn’t go there. It doesn’t go in the castle. Yeah, I need to do this. No, no, no no. This goes here. [SOUND]>>Did it work?
>>Yes.>>I leave you with one final thought. Preschoolers have growing minds and
growing bodies. They’re in a sensitive period for development and their experiences
can drastically shape cognition, learning, social skills, and
physical health and development. We are in a time where young children
play much less than in the past. Opportunities for free play and
semi-structured play have been reduced in favor of more time
for seat work and direct instruction. But yes, it is possible and it is
beneficial for children to learn and form the developmental foundations of skills
necessary to succeed in school through play. Yes, children can engineer too. [MUSIC]

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