Ms. McCray’s Fundamentals of CS begins unplugged and introduces the formal problem-solving process that the class will use over the course of the year, Define – Prepare – Try – Reflect.
The class relates these steps to the aluminum boat problem as well as to other problems. At the end of the lesson, the class collected a list of generally useful strategies for each step of the process and put them on posters that will be used throughout the unit and year. Boat designs came in many different sizes and shapes. Students had to plan, test, and iteratively improve a solution to the problem for their boats. Students collaborated across teams to trouble shoot and weigh the pros and cons of their designs.