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  • By Jeni Ann Flores

Honing natural engineering skills

Ma. Ulloa elementary was the site of a game board convention of a sort recently. Ready. Set. Play! Third grade students of iLearn Academy Charter School and Ma. Ulloa Elementary School will come together at the Dededo to play with game boards created by the iLearn students.

Some people think the technology is only about electronic or digital products. A paperclip, a pencil, a cardboard box-- these are all “technology” because they were engineered to solve a particular human problem. Children are natural born engineers.

iLearn third grades Zoe Leon Guerrero and Elijah Mendiola share their game boards with Ma. Ulloa students. Photo by Jeni Ann Flores

They will create a toy out of a piece of paper, stone or stick. They are fearless in using their imagination to solve a problem. They will take apart something to find out how it works.

Part of the joy of creating something is sharing it with others, especially like minded others. We asked the Ulloa teachers and their principal, Mrs. Beverly San Agustin, if we can share our projects with their students and they were very receptive. They welcomed us with open arms.

This is the second year iLearn students created the game boards but the first time they will share it with students from another school. Last year the third grade classes not only created game boards, they also competed in creating slides and creating an iPad stand. They had to use recycled materials in all the projects.

The project aligns with Next Generation Science Standards for third grade: “Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.” It required planning, problem solving and collaboration with family members. Students need hand-eye coordination to win the games. They are meeting new friends and very important, having fun while learning.

Jeni Ann Flores is a teacher at iLearn Academy Charter School.

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