Engineering Encounters: Sailing Into the Digital Era

Contributor
Janet Bellavance and Amy Truchon
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Tool/Software , 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

This resource combines The Engineering Design Process and technology using an iPad to have students create an electronic STEM journal documenting what they learned about wind and weather as they design sails for a model boat.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 2
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available by subscription - The right to view and/or download material, often for a set period of time, by way of a financial agreement between rights holders and authorized users.

Performance Expectations

2-PS1-2 Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

Clarification Statement: Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students will evaluate different materials that could be used to make a sail.

K-2-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students will use their test results to improve their original sail designs.

K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students will design a sail and test to see how far it moves a boat.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students will be able to make observations and provide explanations concerning their design choices and communicate the choices and solutions in written and video format.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students will be able to test different materials to understand their properties; choose materials and design a sail; and based on their data, redesign the sail and retest.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students work collaboratively as a team to fulfill the design challenge of creating a sail for their boats. Students will have access to a variety of materials such as felt, foil, tissue paper, waxed paper, and card stock. Students can take videos and photographs, or use journals to collect their data.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will be able to communicate about their design process and solutions in written and video format using the iPad.

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will be able to examine, evaluate, and describe different kinds of materials. The materials are used to build a sail and to test what materials are most effective for catching the wind.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students will select materials based on the effect they have on the functioning of a sail and use these selections to create a sail shape that will most efficiently catch the wind. Students will also be able to analyze their data and make adjustments to their design using evidence gathered to support their ideas.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson addresses all three dimensions of learning as defined by the NGSS for second grade by having students utilize the Engineering Design Process to design a sail for a boat that will allow it to travel the furthest distance; testing a variety of materials to make their sail; making observations; and communicating their choices in a digital format.

  • Instructional Supports: Please note this resource does not describe how to create a STEM journal, but provides insight on how to use storyboards to create a digital journal using iPads. The students participating in this engineering encounter have previous experience creating STEM journals and storyboards, and are integrating such knowledge in a different format using Book Creator and Explain Everything Apps. Prior to implementing the digital component, I would suggest teachers provide students with a storyboard. The article provides an image of an eBook storyboard that teachers can recreate and use in their classroom.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This resource does not provide any means of monitoring student progress beyond an eBook rubric. The rubric is provided in the article and it can also be accessed using the following link: http://www.nsta.org/elementaryschool/connections/201511EERubric.pdf. To strengthen this area, I would suggest teachers recreate figure 3 testing sail design checklist, providing paper copies of the storyboard, and/or creating task cards to help students complete their digital journals.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This entire resource is based on using technology to create digital STEM journals. Please note the apps that are referenced in this article are not free. I encourage teachers to explore free options such as Google Docs or SeeSaw apps.