Non-cognitive skills can be developed starting in the primary grades by integrating STEM education; specifically, the engineering design process, which will enable teachers to focus on teaching standards while also working on students' non-cognitive skills. The following engineering design challenges have been selected because they incorporate the 4C's which help develop students' non-cognitive skills.
Repurposing Engineering Challenge- Get students to think critically and creatively by repurposing everyday items that would normally end up in the trash.
Launch It- Students will have to be persistent in order to design and create their rocket, redesign their rocket, and try to hit a target with their rocket. Click here to see the original lesson plan.
Touchdown- Students will use attentive listening and collaborate when designing their shock absorber. Click here to see the original lesson plan.
Building with Pasta- This is a great lesson to get students to practice working as a team. Students will not be able to construct their spaghetti tower unless they are effectively communicating. Click here to find the original lesson plan.
Pasta Rovers- As students' designed their pasta rovers, I saw a lot of encouragement, collaboration, and persistence within groups. All of these skills help develop students positive sense of self-efficacy. Click here to find the original lesson plan.
Building a Foundation- This lesson from code.org is a great lesson for teaching students about the importance of persistence. Click here to view the original lesson.
Stacking It Up- This is a great challenge to teach students the importance of collaboration and communication when working in a group to solve a problem. All students must participate in order to complete the challenge. Click here to learn more.
Soda Straw Rocket-Not only does this challenge take motivation and persistence to construct but it also requires creativity and perseverance in order to increase the distance that your rocket can travel. Click here to learn more.
Rover Races- Students will have to show flexibility in thinking in order to communicate effectively with their "rover." There are also opportunities for groups to show encouragement, active listening, and perseverance. Click here to find the original lesson.