How Fast Can You Get There Part 2

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Students will be able to move an object quickly over the longest distance possible.

Big Idea

Students will use the Elementary Engineering Design Process to design an object that can travel a distance.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

We will begin the lesson by reviewing the progress that has been made thus far regarding the objects that each group is creating. This lesson is a continuation of How Fast Can You Get There Part One. IN part one, the students gathered their materials and began brainstorming different designs to create their object. Students will be given the opportunity to share their progress and any hardships that caused them to change their design and try again.

 After students discuss their progress, we will lead a discussion on friction. I will inform students that they will be testing out their objects on different surfaces. Students will be able to test their obects on carpet, floor tiles, and felt fabric. We will talk about the importance of friction and why it is necessary to add it to the tires of their inventions.

I will display a long strip of white, textured fabric (similar to a drawer liner). I will inform the students that they will add this to their tires today to provide fiction when their object is in motion. Students will be directed back to their seat to continue constructing their objects and adding the material to their tires.


25 minutes

As students construct their objects, I will observe each group as they collaborate to monitor their progression. I will observe the students to ensure that they are following the elementary engineering and design process as they work. I will also refer students to the resource if necessary, as often students get so consumed in the building process that they forget that the engineering process resource is available to them. This resource is important because it provides an organizational reference for the students to keep them on track as they work. It also serves as a reminder for students to test their design and make revisions as needed. Often times students get discouraged when their design does not work initially, and they have to be reminded that scientists often times go back to test and revise their solutions.

As students complete the construction of their objects, they will begin conducting their trials on the different textured surfaces. They will receive three dictionaries and a piece of cardboard to serve as a ramp. The ramp will not change as the students continue to test their inventions on different surfaces. Students will also receive measuring tape and a timer so they can measure the distance that their object travels in a given amount of time. Students will record their data on the How Fast Can You Get There recording sheet as they conduct their trials.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

The lesson will conclude with the students sharing their inventions and ideas with the class. Students will share how they created their object, what worked well, and what ideas needed to be changed during the process. Having the students share their ideas, allows other students to learn from one another as well as offers students the opportunity to see problem solving and strategizing from a different view. Students will also share which surface their object traveled the quickest on and why. Lastly, I will ask the students to explain how the Elementary Engineering Design Process helped them address their technological problem?