Reflection: Perseverance Reverse Engineering - Section 3: Students in Action


As we read through the advertisement for the Puff Machine students show not concerns about the building and testing of the toy. However after I explain the challenge and share their supply list hands goes up in the air. The question - where are the instructions? My answer - you have every thing I am going to give you for this assignment. It is up to your team to figure out how the Puff Machine works and create your own version.

Students retrieve their supplies and the trial and error development begins. This is a great lesson in which students must persevere to solve a problem. The solution is not obvious to students at first, there is some frustration. Frustration, I tell my students is a good thing. It means you are learning. If you were not the least bit frustrated then the task is too easy.

When students finally figure out how to make the machine they are excited about making it better.

I ask students how they feel now that they have succeeded in building the toy. They report that they feel good.

I do not think I would have had the same response if I had provided step-by-step instructions. There is simply something deeply satisfying when you first struggle then succeed.  

  What! No Instructions!
  Perseverance: What! No Instructions!
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Reverse Engineering

Unit 9: Engineering
Lesson 3 of 15

Objective: SWBAT evaluate an advertised new toy and create a prototype from using only the advertisement as a guide.

Big Idea: New product competition is fierce. Can you bring this new toy to market first?

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, models, engineering, design
  50 minutes
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