Carrie Robledo, LARA CABANISS
Material Type:
Upper Primary
  • K12 Engineers
  • Science
  • Stem
  • Third Grade
  • k5engineers
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    How Did the Third-Grader Cross the Road?

    How Did the Third-Grader Cross the Road?


    Students will use recyclable materials to design and create a wearable flip flop that prevents heat transfer from the hot summer sun.

    Instructor Directions

    How Did the Third-Grader Cross the Road?

    Submitted by Lara Cabaniss

    Cabarrus County Schools






    Driving Question / ScenarioSummary:  Your flip flops have been carried away by the ocean so you must design something to protect your feet from the hot pavement so that you can cross the road.
    Project SummaryStudents will use recyclable materials to design and create a wearable flip flop that prevents heat transfer from the hot summer sun.
    Estimated Time60 minutes
    Materials / ResourcesRecyclables, infrared thermometer, tape, a sunny day helps
    Educational Standards3.P.3 Recognize how energy can be transferred from one object to another.Science:
    Classifying Objective3.P.3.2 Recognize that energy can be transferred from a warmer object to a cooler one by contact or at a distance and the cooler object gets warmer.
    Project Outline
    AskIt’s summertime, and you are at the beach.  You have just walked across the hot paved road to the shore.  Finally, you drop your flip flops and towel on the sand and hit the cool ocean water.  Hours go by, and you are having a blast!  Your Dad calls to you and says it is time to go inside for dinner.  You get out of the water and pick up your towel, but where are your flip flops?  Everyone helps you look, but it seems that they have been washed out with the tide.  How are you going to walk across the hot pavement without burning your feet?  You are too big to be carried, so you must be creative!  What are you going to do?
    ImagineAll of a sudden you see the trash can on the beach and wonder if it might be possible to use clean trash to create a new pair of flip flops. Choosing the right materials will get you safely across the scorching road.
    PlanMake a design plan and select the best materials to use for your prototype flip flop.  The flip flop should stay cool on top and be wearable.
    CreateAs a prototype, you only need to create one flip flop for testing.  We will test your new “shoe” using our infrared thermometer. We will let it sit in the sun for 30 minutes before taking the temperature on top where your foot would sit.
    ImproveIf you need to redesign and improve during creation, that is possible.  One member of the team should become your “flip flop model”.
    Closure / Student ReflectionsAfter testing, each team member must write a summary paragraph explaining which materials and which design were most effective for not allowing the heat to transfer from the road to the top of the flip flop. Your paragraph should also explain why the road is so hot in the first place.  The following words should be included in your paragraph:  
    • heat
    • transfer
    • warm
    • cool
    Possible Modifications / ExtensionsCompare flip flops and compare wearability and the temperature of each on top where the wearers food would be.  Allow redesign time if possible.