Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of magnetism to engineer a maglev transportation system.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Magnetism
  • 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 boy named Hikaru living in Japan explores the field of Transportation Engineering in order to design a special attraction for his family’s struggling toy store. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students model a traffic intersection and think like transportation engineers to evaluate its safety and efficiency.
Students investigate the properties of magnets. (120–160 min., 3 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve their own maglev transportation systems. (120–150 min., 2 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

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