Unit Overview

Engineering Unit:

In Botswana, where firewood for cooking fuel is in short supply, people are turning to a renewable energy source—the Sun! The storybook Lerato Cooks Up a Plan sets this framework for the unit’s activities. Students explore the science concepts of thermal insulators and thermal conductors, then test different materials to find the best insulators for their own solar ovens. They analyze the life cycle and environmental impacts of each insulator, then design and test their solar ovens and do some solar cooking!

Computer Science Unit:

Interactive computer games are powerful tools for learning. In the story Lerato’s Playful Program, Lerato designs a computer game to help her neighbors recognize the positive environmental impact of choosing to cook with solar ovens. Students explore the elements of the programming language Scratch, and then use it to design a practice computer game. For their final design project, students choose an environmental issue, design a game that demonstrates to players how different choices result in different outcomes.

"tablet, phone and computer screens showing resources

Engineering and Computer Science Essentials™ Unit
Core Program Components

  • Teacher Guide 
  • Digital Storybook (Engineering)
  • Digital Storybook Epilogue (Computer Science)
  • Classroom Resource Pack 
  • Materials Kits 
In stock
Essentials Grade 4

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Grouped product items
Product Name Qty
Integrated Essentials: Solar Ovens/Computer Games - 1yr Digital
Integrated Essentials: Solar Ovens/Computer Games - 3yr Digital
Engineering Essentials: Designing Solar Ovens - 1yr Digital
Engineering Essentials: Designing Solar Ovens - 3yr Digital
Designing Solar Ovens Materials Kit
Computer Science Essentials: Designing Computer Games - 1yr Digital
Computer Science Essentials: Designing Computer Games - 3yr Digital
Computer Science Essentials: Designing Computer Games Materials Kit

Classroom Resource Pack and Resources for Diverse Learners

As a set of high impact resources, the Resources for Diverse Learners are designed to help remove distractions and decrease literacy demands so that all students can succeed in engineering and computer science as creative problem solvers.

Within the Teacher Guide, built-in vocabulary support, suggestions for creating context and background; options for different learning styles; and multiple ways for learners to express understanding all come together to improve access to engineering and computer science.  The Classroom Resource Pack (available separately) includes support materials from the Teacher’s Guide in a convenient classroom package.

Resource for Diverse Learners Included in the Teacher Guide Packaged with the Teacher Guide Included in Digital Unit
Student Discussion Support * * *
Teacher Discussion Support * * *
English Learner Strategies * * *
Differentiation Duplication Masters * * *
Flip book StorybookEnglish and Spanish1   * *
Character Cards1   * *
Visual Vocabulary Cards1   * *
Illustrated Engineering Design Poster - English   8.5x11in. included
 (available for sale in 20x30 in.)
Illustrated Engineering Design Poster - Spanish   8.5x11in. included
 (available for sale in 20x30 in.)
Materials Reference Sheet1   * *
Alternative Lesson Progression     *

1 Spanish version available in the Digital Unit only.

Create a STEM mindset. Implement engineering and computer science with fidelity. Partner with us to create a culture of STEM as you learn best practices for teaching through full day or multi-day workshops; teacher educator institutes, and multi-year implementation planning and strategy development. Explore our professional development programs and empower STEM. 

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