Reflection: Day 4: Completing the Roller Coaster Support System - Section 2: Focus


Once I ask students to create a labeled design on paper, I began hearing a few students say, "I can't draw!" or "I can't do this!"

After several students respond with "I can't do this!" I stop the class and talk to them about an engineer's attitude! I ask them to visualize what it would have been like to be one of the engineers who worked on the construction of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the first spacecraft to land on the moon! 

I asked: Do you think mankind would have landed on the moon if the engineers said "I can't?" Or do you think we landed on the moon because every time the engineers became frustrated they said, "I can do this!" 

Student attitudes immediately change and students begin practicing perseverance instead!

From this point forward, during every roller coaster lesson, every time I hear a student say, "I can't," I ask the entire class: Fifth graders! What do engineers say?! They all smile and respond back, "I CAN!" 

  Overcoming the I Can't Attitude!
  Overcoming the I Can't Attitude!
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Day 4: Completing the Roller Coaster Support System

Unit 1: Gravity
Lesson 13 of 19

Objective: SWBAT use the Engineering Method to design a paper roller coaster.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students continue working on their roller coaster support systems. Also, I introduce a variety of paper roller coaster components so that students can construct a design of their roller coaster on paper.

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10 teachers like this lesson
Science, engineering, roller coasters, engineering method
  80 minutes
roller coaster support system
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