Unit Overview

Youth engineer a sail that catches wind energy to move a vehicle across a distance.

  • Grade K-2
  • Setting: Out of school
  • 9 lessons
  • 45 minutes per lesson

Unit Map

Youth engineer a school supply case and learn about the Engineering Design Process, a 5-phase problem-solving tool.
Youth are introduced to the problem and learn about ways people use wind energy to move objects.
Youth investigate which materials work well to catch the wind and facilitate motion.
Youth explore sail placement to determine which best catch the wind, then imagine and plan their sail designs.
Youth create and test their sail designs and use what they learn from failures to make improvements.
Youth reflect on familiar objects that move in the wind and embody the motions through physical movements.
Youth use what they know about sail design to improve a sail so it can transport more weight.
Youth use what they know about sail design to engineer a sail that either moves faster or slower along the track.
Youth present their sails and share their processes with guests.

Our funders

Major support for this project has been provided by the National Science Foundation.

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What’s Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Teacher Slides (Google Slides)
  • Student Engineering Notebook (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (Google Slides or PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)