Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Natures Engineers....Beavers - Section 2: Engage


The direction this question led my class was not anywhere I had anticipated it would go. In fact, my students astounded me with the depth of thinking they applied to this question.

When I had to explain that the word 'natural' implied that it was someone or something that was not an engineer because they had been taught by someone or something else or maybe even gone to college to become an engineer. The students were fine with this explanation and jumped in a direction I was shocked to hear. 

They explained to me that Leonardo DaVinci was an engineer.  They could even reason why....he did not live in a time when he could go to college.  Well, that one was more than I expected.  Then when they brought Benjamin Franklin and the same reasoning, I just let them keep going. Becoming more and more impressed by the moment.  But then they pulled out all the stops when they told me that spiders were like engineers whey they build webs.  Reasoning again that the web is built to catch flies and stop their spread of disease.  

Ok, now I am at marveling their thinking.  Wow!!! 

  Natural Engineers
  Grappling with Complexity: Natural Engineers
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Natures Engineers....Beavers

Unit 7: Unit 7 - Wetlands, Ponds, Rivers, and Streams
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT use evidence from adaptations of an animals body to determine the animal's function within an ecosystem.

Big Idea: While beavers seem as though they are a nuisance to some, they also have an important role in the ecosystem of ponds and wetlands. Their body parts play a large part in their function. This lesson offers students an opportunity to learn about both.

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Science, rivers, engineer, water
  65 minutes
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