Inspired by the way that World’s Fairs bring visitors into a vision for the future, Fourth Grade students recreated a World’s Fair, complete with their own working inventions and a large-scale model of a city of the future. This exhibition at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park also helped to celebrate the centennial of Balboa Park. For this project, students researched current problems of today and designed innovations to make our future better. Among the innovations was a city plan that included alternative energy, smart growth, and innovative infrastructure. As part of the project, students presented project proposals to experts such as city planners, transportation planners, and environmental advocates. In addition, students created working prototypes of inventions to help with mobility, environmental issues, hunger, poverty, and water issues, and informational posters and flyers for their inventions.
This ambitious project shows how we should never underestimate children’s potential. The quality of student work, and their level of professionalism in presenting to experts, families, and the general public was amazing. The depth of learning was evident in the way students transformed knowledge about our world today to create something new.
It felt good to present my work to family and strangers to get feedback and to put it out there.
The most challenging thing was making everything work as expected. I can do that by taking more time and testing more often.
About the Invention Cycle: I learned that it is very challenging, and you fail a lot. The most exciting part for me was seeing it finally work.
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