Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of solids and liquids to engineer a process for producing a better play dough mixture.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 1–2; includes modifications for grades 3–5.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Material properties, solids and liquids
  • 5 lessons (9–10 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a girl named Michelle living in Canada uses engineering to turn her play dough “recipe” into a complete play dough making process that others can easily follow. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students explore the field of Chemical Engineering and conduct product research. (55–60 min.)
Students identify the ideal properties for play dough and gather data about how materials interact when mixed. (110–120 min., 2 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve their own process for producing play dough. (140–175 min., 3 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources