Unit Overview

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

  • Kindergarten
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Sun and shade
  • 9 lessons
  • 45 minutes per lesson

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each YES unit with careful attention to NGSS standards. YES units are also designed to integrate with the most popular elementary and middle school curricula. View Standards Alignment

Unit Map

Students read a story about two children who design sun hats to keep them shaded from the sun. Students sequence the events of the story to learn about the Engineering Design Process.

Students go outside to experience how they feel in the sunlight and in the shade.

Students sort hats by how well they make shade. They identify the parts of a hat that make shade on different parts of the body.

Students identify floppy and stiff materials and explore construction techniques to create a sturdy hat brim that stays out of their eyes.

Students test materials to determine which work well to make shade.

Students independently imagine ideas for their sun hats. They work with a partner to plan a sun hat that will meet both of their needs.

Students create their sun hats and test how well their designs block light from the sun.

Students identify aspects of their sun hats to improve. They make adjustments and test their improved designs.

Students parade their sun hats to share their designs with their peers and reflect on their engineering work.

Teacher Preparation Videos

Hat Base

Add String to Hat Base

Videos for Students

Shade Testing Procedure

Test a Sun Hat Outside

Test a Sun Hat Inside

Sun hat icon

What’s Included?

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