Engineering Habits of Mind

The students have been practicing the Engineering Habits of Mind in their classrooms.  This week we began to look at what it means to be open-minded.  We began with a short presentation that explained what it means to be open-minded and how this idea relates to our work with STEM education and the design cycle.  In the classroom the students discussed open-mindedness further and participated in various activities to practice this.  Here is what some classes did.

Miss Rose read the book Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes. They then we discussed how the characters in the story were closed-minded, and how they ended up being open-minded at the end of the book. The students also discussed how they can be closed-minded at school and what they can do to be more open- minded about things.

First Grade
The first graders listened to the story, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. They then participated in an activity where they each were given a black dot and a white sheet of paper. They were to imagine what the dot could be and illustrated their idea. The students had to keep an open-mind and visualize what their classmates saw the dot as being, learning everyone can see something different when presented with the same information.

Seventh Grade
The seventh graders practiced using an open-mind when creating decorations for they classroom door. All the members of the class learned to listen to and consider other’s points of view.


Eighth Grade
The eighth graders watched clips from the Disney movie, Moana. They then discussed how some of the characters were closed-minded and others were open-minded.

Fifth Grade
The fifth graders participated in an activity where they were tasked with building a new settlement on a newly discovered planet. First, each fifth grader decided individually which of the skills listed they felt were important in the training of an astronaut to settle this planet. Then they worked with a partner and compared their decisions. An open-mind was needed as they discussed and justified their choices, until they both agreed. Next, the partners needed to choose how to spend their $50,000 budget for building their settlement. Again, the fifth graders needed to practice being open-minded so they could listen to and understand their partner’s points of view.


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