Learning, Doing and Achieving: Engineering with Sparks

Are Sparks too young to learn about engineering? No way! The 2nd Pincourt Sparks planned three meetings around that theme, the first being their LEGO creations! Each Spark was given her LEGO kit and an instruction booklet. Some girls were off and building while others needed a little more step-by-step guidance. Even with girls calling out: “can you do it, Saphire,” we encouraged them to try and they all built their own houses. They were thrilled to show off their creations to their parent at pick up. Step one complete!

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At the start of our second meeting, we asked them what they would need to build a real house and who could help. They knew enough to say that they would require tools and someone to build it. We found an activity on the Girls First platform and set up tools around the room. They were each given a bag with items in like staples, nails, nuts, glue sticks, etc. Each Spark started at a different tool and went on to do her best to match the item to its tool. It was interesting to see what they matched up and even more interesting that they didn’t copy their fellow Sparks but made their own choices. When we collected everything, we went over the tools, their names and what they were used for. Departure on night two brought the words: “Hey Mom! There are different screwdrivers for different kinds of screws.”

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What next? Well, I was a little nervous about giving our energetic Sparks nails and wood. So, dull nails and a plastic lid off a coffee can made great substitutes to practise hammering and nobody ended up with any injured fingers! Then, it was time to move on to engineering and designing their own creation: Instead of using wood and nails to make funky friends, we used straight pins and styrofoam with a variety of items from the craft cupboard. Each Spark engineered her very own friend.

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I don’t think they are ready to build a house, but they sure know how to create and it was a great three meetings learning, doing and achieving!

Joanne Cardinal is a Guider with the 2nd Pincourt Sparks. She is also known as Super Eagle, responsible for our exciting summer camp program at Camp Wa-Thik-Ane.

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About Girl Guides of Canada - Guides du Canada - QUÉBEC

Le blogue officiel des Guides du Canada - Conseil du Québec. The official blog of the Girl Guides of Canada - Quebec Council.
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