Reflection: Organizational Systems Engineering Design Project: Parachutes (Day 1) - Section 3: Guided Practice


Creating a Different Planning Sheet 

Having consistence with resources that you use in class is an important strategy to use.  Students become familiar with these documents and are able to complete them more independently as time goes on.  This is especially helpful for ESE and ELL students.  For example, I always use the same format when completing experiments.  I use an outline that follows the Scientific Method Foldable outline.  When completing engineering design activities I always provide them with an Engineering Project Planning Sheet to help guide the process.  Sometimes activities may require a different format then what students are used to.  When a resource that is usually pretty consistent needs to be altered, it is important to go over the new format with the class so they feel comfortable with the changes and can be successful.  

For this activity I had to create a new planning sheet because the students are completing multiple tests and changing their design several times.  The normal planning sheet only provides a space for students to develop one model of what will be built before beginning to assemble it.  For this project, students will be changing four things: the canopy shape, canopy size, canopy material, and line length.  To save time, I completed some research and provided the students with an overview of what I found.  This portion could be removed from the planning sheet.  I also felt that it was important to have groups make a prediction for what they felt would be the attributes of the best parachute prior to beginning assembly.  This portion was added at the top. 

  Organizational Systems: Planning Sheet
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Engineering Design Project: Parachutes (Day 1)

Unit 4: Motion, Forces and Interactions
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWBAT follow the steps of the engineering design process to create the best parachute to slow down the affects of the force of gravity.

Big Idea: Students work in teams to test and build a parachute that will take the longest to reach the ground.

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group testing canopy material
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