Part Four / Day 1- Preparing the Soda Cup Lander

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SWBAT plan and attach their chosen scientific instruments to the SCL.

Big Idea

Engineers work together to draw diagrams to show where to place the scientific instruments on their SCLs and attach the instruments to their model.

NGSS Connections and Lesson Preparation

30 minutes

NGSS Connections

ETS1 - Engineering Design

Students discuss, select and make a diagram to show where the selected the scientific instruments should be placed on the SCL, considering how this may affect how it descends, lands and ascends.  

Science and Engineering Practices - Appendix F

Asking Questions and Defining Problems - SP1

Students articulate that the SCL is not a useful model for marine scientists until it has scientific instruments that can take data on the deep ocean.

Developing a Simple Model - SP 2

Students develop a model of the SCL with attached instruments. Their decisions for placement and selection of instruments is based on observations that student develop in the previous lesson.

Lesson Preparation

Make an attachment material box: rubberbands, masking tape, paperclips, pipecleaners

8 - 16 copies of the SCL drawing for students to draw their engineering diagram

Material / Team

SCL Part 4 of the Soda Cup Lander lab

'scientific instruments' in a bag

Soda Cup Landers - landers have been numbered to correspond with teams

Question for the Day

10 minutes

Question of the day: Which 3 - 4 scientific instruments do you think would work best on the on the Soda Cup Lander? Consider the function of the tool and your scientific instrument data.

I direct teams to  look over their scientific instrument data in their lab book and discuss their ideas with their team.

Instead of students meeting on the rug for the 'question of the day, teams will discuss the question in order to prepare for the lab, and to allow as much time as possible for the engineering component.

As I hear most teams come to a consensus about the instruments that they will test, I signal for the students' attention.

"Engineers, our marine scientists would like you to recommend the 3 - 4 instruments that should be attached to the Sea Cup Lander and where these instruments should be placed on the lander. So what will you need to find about about the instruments and soda cup lander?

Right, will SCL be able to descend, land and ascend with 3-4 instruments attached?"

Through questioning and scaffolding, we set the criteria to be tested:

"The scientists need to be safe while traveling in the SCL. How would we know if the SCL is safe? Should the SCL tilt? Land sideways?

What notes should you take on the instruments? Did they stay in place?"

Do you think you should observe and take notes for each part of the journey?" 

I ask for any other ideas and note these on the board  too.

Students have an observation form in their lab booklet with the above criteria inserted, but I want to scaffold the reason why we are establishing this criteria, rather than telling students take these observations with not knowing the reason why for those observations.

"Thank you for your criteria suggestions for what we should make observations on, most of your ideas are on the observation form in your lab booklet."

"Today you will choose the instruments you want to attach to your SCL, plan how these instrument will be attached and test the descent and landing."

Soda Cup Lander - Phases 1 - 3

40 minutes

There are a lot of steps for 'Part 4, Day One and Two. This group is working on their listening stamina, so I give the directions in chunks, then let students work for a bit, then when I notice that most teams are ready to move on, I present the next 'set of steps', or phase. I use a 'blind' on the smart board which allows me to show only a couple of steps one phase at a time.

My task will be to monitor the groups, review the observations and to ask the why questions.

I project 'the phases' one section at a time in bullet format, and uncover the phases as needed.

DAY ONE - Select Instruments and Attach Them to the SCL

Phase 1

Students select instruments and show where to place them on their scientific instrument diagram

I have copies of the SCL Engineer Plan so that students only need to add the instruments and label.

For this phase students select their instruments and draw their diagram.

"Engineers use diagrams to help them build their models accurately so that they do not waste material or time. When it comes time to assembling their model, they know where everything should go and what order to build it."

"Your attachment choices are masking tape, pipe cleaner, paperclips and /or rubber bands. Your team only needs to make one diagram. Remember to label what attachment material you will use."

I am prompting students to refer to their 'scientific instrument data', to help them decide where to place the instruments. I move around the room and ask why they are choosing to place instruments where they do.

Phase 2

SCL instrument diagrams approved; students pick up materials

I look to see that the diagram has 3-4 instruments and attachment material labeled.

Some students chose to use a map key. Students did not show how the 'attachment material' would be placed on the diagram, which is fine as that would be a challenge to show that on 2-D. Students did indicate what attachment material they would use. 

Next time after the instruments are attached to the SCLS I will ask teams take a photo of the side view and over view of their SCL. Then they could label the SCL instruments and attachment material on the images. These images could be used for a lesson on how engineers make diagrams.

I do not point out any possible design flaws, i.e. placing the instruments all on one side as I want the engineers to discover how to best place the instruments through direct testing.

Team diagrams are stamped by the Dept. Head.

Phase 3

Engineers attach the scientific instruments to the SCL

I stressed to the engineers that they would not receive replacement instruments so they need to be careful with the instruments.

Students were referring to their diagram as the placed their instruments on the SCL!

As soon as most teams have attached their instruments, I signal all teams to the rug to wrap up today's lesson.

Students who did not finish attachingt their instruments today, will start with 'phase 3' at the next science class.

Wrap up

10 minutes

15 minutes before class is over, I call out the remaining time , "You have 5 minutes, before I will ask you to stop. Consider what you will finish in these 5 minutes.

I do this so students can mentally change gears and find a stopping point that works for them.

Most teams have attached their scientific instruments to their SCL and are ready to test next week. A couple of teams will need to finish 'phase 3'.

When I did this lesson, students moved into phase 4: Testing the SCL for descent and landing. Students did not have enough time to finish the 3 trials in one science period. So I have chosen to move phase 4 - 6 to 'Part Four / Day 2'.

At the 10 minute mark I say, "Carefully place your team's SCL in your baggie. Place your team's baggie on the back table and place your lab booklet in your science folder. Bring your team's SCL diagram and take a seat on the rug with your team.

Turn and share your diagram with another team. Explain why your team chose those instrument and why your team placed them where they are."

After students have had an opportunity to share, I congratulate my engineers and share any observations I noticed about the teams. Teams were on task, students were taking turns to share their ideas and making eye contact.