Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Day 7: Roller Coaster Funnels & Half-Pipes - Section 3: Explore


One of my favorite parts of this lesson is that students are intrinsically motivated to build their roller coaster models and to take part in the engineering process. I think that students are naturally curious about how things work, but I also think that there are some key strategies that help inspire curiosity as well: 

1. Teacher Questioning: What happened? Does that happen every time? Can you explain this? 

2. Videos: Allow students to image the possibilities!

3. Challenge: When students are challenged to complete a task, they are sometimes more motivated! 

4. Choices: By providing students with choices, they take more ownership and interest in learning.

Here are two examples students who are absolutely curious about the workings of a funnel (Testing the Funnel) and a jump (Adding Improvements). I love watching both of these students explore their roller coaster models with such interest! 

  Intrinsic Motivation: Inspiring Curiosity
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Day 7: Roller Coaster Funnels & Half-Pipes

Unit 1: Gravity
Lesson 16 of 19

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

Big Idea: In this lesson, students will learn how to construct funnels and half-pipes. Then, students will experiment with different ways to successfully attach their tracks, funnels, and half-pipes in their roller coaster prototypes.

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8 teachers like this lesson
Science, engineering, roller coasters, engineering method
  85 minutes
testing roller coasters
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