Introduction: Engineering Design- Create a Nature Bag

Interested in starting Makerspace Challenges in your classroom? These are great processes to think through

Here is how I make one challenge work for students in grades K-5!

1. First I have students sit around the table and we quickly talk through the Makerspace Guidelines.

These are the expectations I use but feel free to add/ take away/ and make them work for your students and your space.

Focus on the task!

Everyone participates.

Be creative and get messy.

Consider all ideas.

Try, improve, try again

Materials are tools NOT toys.

Don’t Give up!

2. Next we go over today's task and the supplies available for the challenge.

You are going for a walk in the forest and you keep seeing wonderful nature treasures that you want to collect. Unfortunately, you don't have any pockets or bags with you!

Task: Create a nature bag that can hold all of your treasures!

3. Plan! --Now it is time for students to sketch out their initial design!

Must students stick with their original design? No! I want students to create several iterations of their nature bag design.

4. Build Time! I set a timer (10- 15 minutes) and let students get to work.

I encourage students to be creative while still meeting the task expectations. There is lots of room for interpretation here. As long as their 'nature bag' holds nature treasures it meets the expectations of the task. If students finish quickly then it is time to test their creations and see what they can do to make it even better. That may mean some design tweaks like adding straps-- It could also mean decorating the outside or adding pockets. Maybe they want to add wheels so they can pull it behind them? Really it is up to them!

5. Share out!

This where we go around and let each person describe their design process and then showcase how their creation works. ALL ages enjoy showing what they made. If they were not able to finish --they can talk about what happened and what they were planning on doing with their design. I like to take pictures and let them take home their creations.


-Fabric Scraps

-Duct Tape



-Small cardboard pieces

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