Going Places! – Building a Float with First Graders

parade float

Ever wonder if first graders could build a parade float? Kidspace and teachers did!

Kidspace partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District on a 12-week enrichment program of distance-learning STEAM classes for K–2nd-grade students. Thanks to generous funding from The Broad Foundation and the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Kidspace educators and master float builders from Artistic Entertainment Services—creators of countless iconic Rose Parade floats—took students through float building from design and engineering to construction, testing, and first drive. The kids wanted their float to be focused on getting out of the house and traveling, and they titled it, “Going Places!”

The class used project based learning (in this case, with the super cool project of building a parade float) to engage students with curriculum standards and concept acquisition. Students learned pre-math graphing skills, art concepts about color, and engineering skills about gears and simple machines. As they advanced through the learning objectives, students participated in hands-on activities, built their own mini-floats at home, and made choices that determined the design of the full-scale, fully functional float.

Thank you to our LAUSD teachers and partners and especially our students for joining us in this remarkable project. Without their tenacity and creativity, it would not have been possible. We can’t wait to do it again!

Watch “Going Places!” take it’s very first drive around the Rose Bowl!

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