The Little Learning Warriors at Arlington Elementary learned about the water cycle through a new STEM challenge. After Miss Trina led a lesson on how precipitation is water that falls from the sky as either rain, snow, sleet, hail, or ice, the students were given the challenge to build a small umbrella that can keep a tissue dry.

Divided into 3 to 4 students, each group was given a piece of construction paper, a plastic bag, masking tape, 4 straws, and scissors in order to build their umbrellas.

After a 5-minute brainstorming session, the students were given 20 minutes to build their umbrellas. To test their final products, each group placed their tissue on top of an upturned bowl inside a basin, placed or held their umbrella above the tissue, and used a spray bottle to spray over the top of the umbrella.

After checking the tissues for success or failure, together everyone discussed what worked and what didn’t work as well. The students explained why each of their umbrellas may have kept the tissue dry, or, if the tissue got wet, what they could have done differently.

The Little Learning Warriors enjoyed the creative, hands-on challenge that combined a lesson on precipitation, design, engineering, cooperation, and reflection.