YES Elementary Units

YES Elementary Units



Engineering Sun Hats

Students explore the cooling effects of shade as they engineer sun hats that block sunlight and meet users’ needs.


Grade 1

Engineering Nightlights

Students investigate how materials interact with light as they engineer nightlights that meet user preferences and communicate a message.


Grade 2

Engineering Pumpkin Pollinators

After learning about pollinators and their importance, students engineer hand pollinators that move pollen from one pumpkin flower to another.


Grade 3

Engineering Magnetic Dog Doors

Students engineer dog door systems for an animal shelter that can open or stay closed using magnetic forces.


Grade 4

Engineering Safety Vests

Students engineer vests that incorporate an electric communication system to increase pedestrian, cyclist, or skateboarder safety at a busy intersection.


Grade 5

Engineering Plastic Filters

Students consider the effects of plastics on the marine ecosystem and community as they engineer filters to reduce plastic waste entering the ocean.

Standards Alignment

YES Elementary and YES Middle School units integrate with science ideas and standards. We carefully design engineering challenges so students develop and use science knowledge as they generate solutions.

YES Elementary Resources

YES works closely with teachers to develop a suite of resources for each unit. These include:

Resource Description
Teacher Guide Contains nine 45-minute lessons with a common structure:

  • Introduction: Introduces the lesson’s guiding questions.
  • Exploration: Engages students in the lesson’s main activity.
  • Wrap-Up: Connects learning to the engineering challenge.
Story or Comic Introduces the engineering problem students will solve.

  • (K–2) A story is read aloud and its illustrations projected at the start of the unit.
  • (3–5) Comics that preview the engineering work students will do open each lesson.
Engineering Notebook Records students’ observations, sketches, plans, and reflections.
Print Materials Include print materials for group activities such as cards or signs.
Slides Facilitate classroom projection of guiding questions, discussion prompts, sentence frames, and images.
Vocabulary Cards Introduce new vocabulary through visual cards that can be posted on
an engineering vocabulary wall.
Assessment Tools Include opportunities and rubrics to evaluate students’ engineering growth.
Family Resources Spur conversations about engineering at home and connect students’ learning to their communities.
Optional Resources Provide:

  • Additional background that prepares students for success in an engineering lesson.
  • Deeper explorations of related STEM topics.
Video Playlist Shows how to prepare and test materials.
Materials Kit Supplies the physical materials needed to teach each lesson.