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January 2006

Kids Design Network (KDN)
DuPage Children's Museum (IL) site where kids play engineer (designer, not choo-choo).
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8

This site from the DuPage Children's Museum offers students the opportunity to find out about life as an engineer by taking the challenge to draw the design and build a gadget then compare it to other kids. The site is now looking for funding for the live interactive part of the site but the free challenges are still available.
This engaging site will appeal to the kid in all of us. The bottom navigation bar gives access to the main areas of the site. Included is a Quick Tour that shows first time users what the site is about and how to use it. Free registration is required and Flash Player is needed.

Get your students motivated and involved in the problem solving process at Kid's Design Network (KDN). The site offers seven engineering challenges that involve simple machines, communications skills, integration of technology into the curriculum, and collaborative learning. Additional concepts addressed in specific challenges include: drama, art, gravity, friction, and magnetism. Students choose a challenge that interests them, think about a gadget to make that will meet the challenge, draw the design on the computer and make the gadget. All of the challenges are open-ended with an infinite variety of possible solutions that allows the student to be creative and to modify their gadget until they are satisfied with it. A teacher's guide is available for implementing the projects into the curriculum.


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