Wesley is very different from the other children his age. He refuses to conform to their fashions and interests, which leaves him being bullied and with no friends. Building on what he’s learned in school, Wesley decides to grow his own food crop and found a civilization over summer break. The wind blows seeds into Wesley’s garden, which grow into enormous plants never seen before. Wesley names these plants “swist.” He uses their parts to create food, clothing, sports, shelter, and his own civilization—Weslandia. At first Wesley’s former tormentors are scornful, but Wesley allows them into his civilization and by the end of the summer they become his friends.

Problems identified by students:

  • Wesley needs to take care of his swist plants by watering and harvesting them
  • Wesley needs a way to easily travel up to, down from, and between platforms he has made up in his swist trees
  • Wesley needs a shelter that protects him from rain and poor weather

Solutions designed by students:

  • A zip line to transport Wesley around Weslandia
  • A rain-proof shelter to protect Wesley in bad weather
  • Portable stairs to help Wesley harvest the swist fruit
  • An irrigation system that allows Wesley to easily water his crops