Walk past Ms. Buckner’s classroom in January and you can actually hear minds at work. During Invention Fair season in grade 4, the buzz begins with brainstorming, builds with design, testing and analysis — and culminates with students excitedly sharing their work with peers and parents.
This year’s inventions include an exercise apparatus designed to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, an oxygen backpack for pugs, a sled warmer, a bike helmet that doubles as a snack holder, a no-needle alternative to shots, and balancing wheels for beginning skaters and Ripstick riders.
The designs are diverse, but they share common characteristics: they are STEAM-based, project-based and interest-based. Using personal experience as their lens, fourth graders identify an everyday problem, complete market research and conduct a customer survey about their idea. Next, they use science, engineering and design principles to develop a solution and build a working prototype. They complete a cost analysis and analyze data in a written report to accompany their invention. Finally, they share their work with an authentic audience to test and refine it before displaying it at the Science and Invention Fair. This year’s event is Thursday, Feb. 13, during Bring Your Parents to School Night.
The invention unit builds the skills students will use to complete their first Science Fair projects in grade 5 and throughout middle and upper school.
    • Students test the rollerblade supports.

    • This device is designed to help pugs breathe easier.

    • The "Spring Out of Arthritis" machine .

    • Peer testing and feedback is part of the process.

    • An analysis of the process and results is also required.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227