Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Valentine Mailbox Design - Part 1 - Section 1: NGSS Connections and Lesson Preparation

 

The students had a lot of fun designing, testing and building their Valentine Boxes, but they struggled to articulate which shape or weight proportion would make a stable Valentine Box. Most students met the given criteria through trial and error, but were not sure why their box worked, or if it didn't stay upright what they could do to address this.

Next time before I do this lesson I will provide lessons and experiences to help build students concept of what makes a stable structure. Students could explore the boxes and rank them based on their stability factor when a hair blower is directed at the box. Then address how to modify the boxes that did fall over.

Also, there are some outstanding lesson on this website that address stable structures, such as 2nd grade teacher Jeri Faber. You will find some great lessons that address this concept under Unit 5 - Building Towers and the Engineering Process.

  Building Schema for Stable Structures
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Building Schema for Stable Structures
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Valentine Mailbox Design - Part 1

Unit 6: Engineering Opportunities
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT set criteria for a new improved Valentine Boxes and create individual blueprints to use when they build their Valentine Boxes in the next lesson.

Big Idea: Students explore the steps of an engineer when they design, build and evaluate individual Valentine mailbox designs.

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