Constructing and thinking 3D


Constructing and thinking 3D – How to become an engineer?


Introducing the concepts – 3D constructions, engineer, engineering, prototype, design.
Extending the knowledge about the possibilities of using different geometrical shapes and materials to construct 3D models
Exploring the interrelatedness between the construction stability (strength) and its shape and materials used to build it
Developing imagination and ability to think in 3D
Developing the eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills
Strengthening the ability to recognize one’s own technical capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

The child will be able to:

  • explain the concepts: 3D constructions, engineer, engineering, prototype, design;
  • design different construction independently with the materials provided by teacher;
  • observe and explain the relations between materials/ shapes and the effectiveness of a construction;
  • recognize basic geometrical shapes (triangle, square, rectangle etc.)
  • to use simple engineering tools to construct 3D model of a nest/ solar oven etc.
  • test the constructed models and evaluate their qualities – stability, effectiveness

The structure of the learning pathway

Stage I

Challenges for the beginning – what skills are needed to become an engineer? Introducing the concepts of „engineer”, construction in 3D, prototype, design. Exploring the relations between construction’s stability (strength) and materials or geometrical shapes used. Using different materials to design and build the 3D models of reality:

Stage II

Engineer in the kitchen – constructing with food
Building construction from food ingredients – becoming aware of the possibilities to design different structures, to use and link/ connect different elements together to achieve the desired design.

Stage III

Advanced challenges – atypical constructions and everyday engineering

building the construction helpful in everyday life – like solar oven, a ramp for rolling something. Observing nature – a genius engineer/ constructor!


Initial – drawing mind-map together – to activate the children’s knowledge (What does the engineer do? What do you need to know/ be able to do to become an engineer?

Ongoing – described in every resource

Final assessment Self-evaluation of one’s own engineering skills/ abilities – on a paper chart prepared by a teacher children draw a sign +/ -/ ? while answering the question „Can I be an engineer?”

What can I do? Yes + No –  I am not sure?
Can I think in 3D?
Can I measure the length?
Can I recognize the geometrical shapes: triangle, rectangle, circle etc.?
Can I use different shapes to design a building or structure?
Can I draw a perfect line without using a ruler?
Can I explain what is a prototype?
Can I explain why the structure is stable or unstable?


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