Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Engineering Earthquake Structures: Day 3 - Section 4: Seismic Design Principles: Engineering Earthquake Structures


In my classroom, we are all about "Epic F.A.I.L.S"!  We focus on how First Attempts In Learning are epic!  There is no shame in not getting a concept the first time or in not having your first prototype survive the first attempt in an engineering design challenge.  For that matter, there is nothing shameful in second or third attempts in learning.  In fact, it is what we should embrace.  Using this phrase "epic fails" really connects to middle school students.  It also allows them to shift to a growth mindset.  Learning is all about growth.  It is not about getting it the first time; it is about the process of learning.  It's about working your tail off and achieving a goal.  It's about learning from mistakes and misconceptions and creating a plan for improvement.  The reward isn't in the "grade", it is in the learning process.  First learning attempts are "epic" because it is a great opportunity for growth.  

If first attempts in learning are "epic", then that means that they should have no penalty.  In implementing the NGSS and the Design Process, more and more I realized that the way I was assessing didn't reflect what I wanted students to really believe.  Implementing the NGSS helped shift my assessment methods to take a standards based assessment approach. 

Whether you are ready to make the switch to standards based assessment or not, showing students how to believe in a growth mindset will dramatically improve learning.  If we celebrate the idea that our first attempts are "epic" and not penalized, students will take more changes and take risks in their learning.  They can really begin to believe in themselves and are intrinsically motivated to seek their own learning.

For more insight into why I don't place letter grades on formative assessments or on how many attempts it takes for them to create a structure that survives this earthquake and how that relates to student motivation, check out this TEDx video by Dr. Tae.  While it is about assessment and the skateboarding process, there are direct connections to the engineering process.  I believe at the very least it will cause you a moment of reflection!

  Epic F.A.I.L.S: Epic First Attempts In Learning
  Intrinsic Motivation: Epic F.A.I.L.S: Epic First Attempts In Learning
Loading resource...

Engineering Earthquake Structures: Day 3

Unit 2: Waves and Engineering: Using Waves To Meet Societal Needs and Wants
Lesson 5 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to analyze textual evidence in order to design a earthquake resistant structure and generate scientific questions.

Big Idea: Over the course of five days, students analyze text, engage in scientific discourse, use the design process to test earthquake resistant structures, and investigate analog and digital signals. It's all about how waves impact our lives in the real world!

  Print Lesson
13 teachers like this lesson
earthquake lesson
Similar Lessons
Wind Turbine Blade Design Part 1: Define the Problem & Research Solutions
8th Grade Science » Engineering: Wind Turbines
Big Idea: In this first lesson of a unit on wind turbine blade design, students are presented with the problem of designing wind turbine blades that will produce the optimal amount of electricity.
Brookline, MA
Environment: Urban
Ryan Keser
Using Rube Goldberg Simulation to Demonstrate Understanding of Energy Transformations
6th Grade Science » Energy
Big Idea: Learning science should be fun and meaningful and this lesson provides students with that opportunity.
East Walpole, MA
Environment: Suburban
David Kujawski
Design Your Own Simple Machine
6th Grade Science » Simple Machines
Big Idea: Engineering practices come into play for this hands-on design lesson where students create their very own example of a simple machine!
Brooklyn, NY
Environment: Urban
Drewe Warndorff
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload