Save Our City!

Contributor
Geoffrey Hill,Malinda Schefer Zarske, Denise W. Carlson Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Illustration , Informative Text , Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Students learn about natural hazards and the means engineers have developed to detect these hazards as a means of preventing  natural disasters. Students match engineered natural disaster prevention devices with natural hazards they might prevent using an area map. This activity requires students to explain why particular engineered devices should be placed in certain locations in order to prevent natural disasters.  It will also will demonstrate student understanding of natural disasters as well as the engineering devices created to prevent them.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

3-5-ETS1-2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students could compare/contrast design solutions to the problem of natural hazards, and discuss/research the success of the preventative devices. In order to meet the criteria of the problem, the discussion could focus on ways that each device provides a clear warning to the area population. Pros and cons of each device could be compiled on a class checklist. As students note problems with the placement of these devices, they will implicitly detail the constraint of these tools. Focus on criteria could include questions asking students to explain how these devices would be successful, as well as how much warning time each device would need. Students could journal responses, giving evidence for their explanations. Those responses could be shared, class-wide, allowing students to discuss/understand how criteria for success could affect the efficiency of the design solution.

4-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

Clarification Statement: Examples of solutions could include designing an earthquake resistant building and improving monitoring of volcanic activity.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students could review types of natural earth processes and discuss where these processes occur most often on earth. Students could use regional, national, or world maps in their exploration of those areas. They could develop their own ideas for types of preventative devices, comparing them to those noted in the lesson. They could also determine where the design solutions presented would work in specific locations. Questions could include- " Why would the DART be better closer to shore or further out?" Where on the river"" "The volcano?" In this activity they would discuss where the design solution would work best based on science understanding.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students research types of preventative devices available for early detection of natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. Students discuss ways these devices work, focusing on engineering design, cost, and success in natural hazard detection. Students could also work in groups to research other types of preventative devices, comparing them to the devices used in this resource.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Teacher guided discussion could alleviate possible student misconceptions about natural processes. Earth processes occur naturally and cannot be prevented. Ensuing natural disasters may not always prevented, but their impact may be lessened. In order for the teacher to determine prior knowledge, without just presenting background information on the topic, students might discuss what type of problem exists in the early detection of natural hazards. Questions for students may include- " Should all natural hazards be prevented?" "When could natural processes be beneficial to human life, or to the landforms they affect?" "How can the effects of natural disasters be lesse ned?" While the worksheet provided does not leave space for linking science learning to the justifications students provide for their choices, students might be asked to journal their evidence for their placement decisions, providing more formative assessment possibilities.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students could explain in depth how these devices work- how does the structure of the device support the way it functions? Students might choose to research one device in depth (Example- seismometer) to explain the structure/function connection.

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
If students researched geographical data over time on earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, they would see clear patterns. This activity would be useful as they determine justifications about the locations they choose for the prevention devices.

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students could observe before and after landform changes which occur and affect human life in order to emphasize the importance of preventative devices.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource allows students to become familiar with engineering devices used to prevent /lessen the impact of natural hazards. Pursuing suggested modifications to more explicitly include crosscutting concepts would lead to stronger alignment to NGSS.

  • Instructional Supports: Resource worksheet includes other natural processes not part of NGSS Performance Expectations. Teacher may chose to include those processes in enrichment activities for advanced students, and modify worksheet for devices appropriate for earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. Maps/worksheets included are also generic in nature. Teacher may also chose to allow students to use world maps to place preventative device symbols. This activity may reinforce student awareness of areas in which natural processes occur.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Students are required to place preventative devices on map. They could also journal their reasons for these choices, either as individuals, or in a group setting. Journal responses could include a discussion of geographic landforms/water areaswhich are more prone to natural hazards. The lesson does detail aspects of assessment using class discussion, student worksheet, and true/false test. They are limited in alignment to NGSS, but do in part allow students to explain their own reasoning.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not provide technological activity. However web resources such as those provided below would enrich the resource's descriptions of preventative devices. http:Earthquake.usgs.gov and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXUxt079PtSo