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Students combine engineering with visual art and collaboration in this flood-barrier design challenge project. After developing their observation, drawing, and note-taking skills through a series of observational drawing activities, students work in “community” groups to design and build a model town. They deliberately flood their town to observe and understand the real-world problem of flooding. They study real-world design solutions to this problem and embark on a redesign and rebuild of their town with the addition of a flood barrier. Students work within a budget and with constraints on materials as they endeavor to meet the criteria of creating a barrier that prevents their town being washed away. After flood testing their model, they reflect on how well their barrier worked and present their findings to their peers.


CCSS English Language Arts
RI 2.4, RI 2.7, W 2.2, W 2.5, W 2.6, W 2.7, W 2.8, SL 2.1, SL 2.2, SL 2.3, SL 2.4, SL 2.6

NGSS Science
2-PS1-1, 2-PS1-2, 2-ESS2-1, K-2-ETS1-1 , K-2-ETS1-2, K-2-ETS1-3, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-3

CA Arts Standards
2.VA:Cr1.1, 2.VA:Cr1.2, 2.VA:Cr2.1, 2.VA:Cr2.3, 2.VA:Cr3, 2.VA:Pr5, 2.VA:Re7.1, 2.VA:Re9, 2.VA:Cn10

Grade Level