Reflection: A Place in the Shade-An Engineering Challenge - Section 6: Closing


For this lesson, the students were given the challenge of designing a structure to shield an ice cube from melting using Popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, paper and masking tape.  It was a stretch for the students, but I am glad that I engaged them in this activity. At one point in time, I thought..."Why am I doing this?  This is crazy!"  The kids were going in all directions, but then something happened, and the kids focused on the job and they completed their structures.

I could let this lesson stop here, but I am a crazy fool.  So, I made the decision to teach another lesson in which the students try to improve their structures.  I think it is very important for the students to go through every step of the NGSS Engineering and Design process and the last step is "Improve".  They need to be given the opportunity to see if they can improve upon their structures.  They will be able to make enhancements to their existing structure or start all over from scratch.

One thing that I will be doing before we tackle that challenge is to teach a lesson in which the students have the opportunity to see if the color paper an ice cube is sitting on increases or decreases the speed at which it melts.  I want to see if they are able to apply this information to their new structure.

  A Challenge
  A Challenge
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A Place in the Shade-An Engineering Challenge

Unit 10: The Sun and Our Solar System
Lesson 7 of 9

Objective: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the engineering and design process by creating a structure that provides shade.

Big Idea: Even kindergarteners can participate in the engineering and design process in this challenge in which they try to keep an ice cube from melting.

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