The students will be able to use their knowledge of the Rambam to design a sukkah he would deem kosher. The students will problem solve and communicate effectively to make decisions for this project.
Scientific & Engineering Practices: defining a problem; developing and using models.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Students in 4th grade learned about the design process from an architect in the community and the aspects of problem solving the engineering challenges of creating a kosher sukkah according to Rambam. Within the constraints of the Rambam, the students had creative control of what their sukkah would look like and the way in which they wanted to create the sukkah. They converted the rabbinic measurements to inches or centimeters. Then, they collaborated throughout this process and compromised to make decisions about what their sukkah would look like. The students who worked in the innovation lab got help from our trained 7th and 8th grade “genius” students who have worked hard to teach others.
Before sukkot the students learned about the halachot of Kosher Sukkot from Rambam
Legos, magic nudles, Popsicle sticks, 3D printer, tinkercard.com
What worked: The integration between the general studies and Judaic studies worked very well. The students were not on a unit in math that taught scale, but the 4th grade GS teachers took the opportunity to teach scale in a real-world situation. All three 4th grade classes were involved which allowed us the flexibility to mix groups between classes and build community. Making the scale model first and then building on it was helpful to the students in organizing their thinking using their math skills. The choice of materials engaged the students. We partnered with the technology team and the 6th-8th grade trained “Geniuses'” mostly during lunch and recess to learn how to use the program and 3D printer. Some students were able to use the website https://www.tinkercad.com/ to help them design their sukkah. We made a display for the entire school to see our sukkot with explanations written in Hebrew by the students. This was a real celebration of learning.
What didn’t work: It was the first time the students used the 3D printer and there were challenges to keep the scale. It was new for our students and new for our technology team. We needed more time to then we thought. The students were very excited about this project and were invested in their learning
What we might try next time: We will be looking into other computer programs, as tinkercard was a good program, but there were many challenges for the students. We would be interested in finding a more student friendly program.