The unit of inquiry “How the World Works” is taught throughout all grades at STS. For Grade 5 in particular, the unit focuses on how technology can be used to solve problems. “How the World Works” begins by teaching students the importance of empathy, looking at how others may face challenges that others don’t, such as people with limited mobility, or people with a lack of dependable light. Students are then taught to identify a problem that they could solve using technology with the design cycle. During this process, students research the problem, design an invention that could address the problem, create a prototype, test the prototype, redesign and then test again for improvement of design.
For Grade 5 student Chloe D. ’26, understanding how the world works is a personal passion. Since beginning the unit, Chloe has invested a lot of her personal time in researching Nikola Tesla and creating sketches in her science journal for her next creation.
“Learning how things work is a way to express yourself through design,” said Chloe.
Deconstructing everyday items such as a push pen to transfer electrical energy to a lightbulb, Chloe created her own flashlight for her Grade 5 camp, making it dim enough to avoid disturbing sleepers around her. For the Grade 5 winter break gift exchange, Chloe made a McDonalds French Fries lamp for her friend that looks good enough to eat! With creative, passionate and empathetic minds like Chloe’s, the future is indeed bright.