Designing Circuits: Dance Pad Mania

Contributor
PBS Design Squad
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
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

 

This activity builds on student learning from the related resource “Designing Electric Circuits: Hidden Alarm.” Students use the engineering design process to develop a solution to a problem: how to create a dance pad that lights up and/or buzzes when stepped on.  A video that shows one possible solution to the problem can be found here: http://pbskids.org/designsquad/build/dance-pad-mania/

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
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

4-PS3-4 Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

Clarification Statement: Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device.

Assessment Boundary: Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.

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
This activity encourages students to use scientific ideas about energy transfer to design, test, and refine their dance pads which convert electricity to sound and light.

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
This activity allows students to determine how they will solve the problem of creating a dance pad. They develop and refine their solutions based on the criteria for success (light or sound that turns on and off with a switch) and constraints (time, materials).

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
In order to highlight this disciplinary core idea, students should share their ideas about how energy is being transferred in the system. The teacher may guide the discussion with questions such as, where does the energy come from? (The battery.) How is it transferred? (It moves in the electric circuit and creates a sound and light which spread out in the room.)

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
In order to address this crosscutting concept, the teacher will need to highlight the idea that energy is being transferred in the system as it moves from the battery to the buzzer to the surrounding air.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This engineering challenge encourages students to use their understanding of circuits to design a solution to a problem. The design challenge motivates their sense making and problem solving, and extends their learning from the Hidden Alarm design challenge. In this way, the disciplinary core idea, engineering practices and crosscutting concepts are integrated.

  • Instructional Supports: This activity includes real-world problem solving based on student ideas. Some prior knowledge of circuits and switches is necessary to complete the task. For an introductory lesson plan on circuits, see the related resources, Circuits and Electric Light, http://ngss.nsta.org/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=48 and Hidden Alarm http://ngss.nsta.org/Curator/ViewResource.aspx?ResourceID=852&Note=SAVED The lesson includes suggestions for extensions using additional materials or designing a dance competition. There are no specific scaffolds or provided in this lesson. For inexpensive bulbs, a set of holiday lights can be cut up so that each individual bulb has two short wires.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This activity does not include explicit guidelines for monitoring student progress, although the “Discuss What Happened” section provides an informal assessment of student progress. The design challenge itself also serves as a performance assessment. The teacher may wish to develop a rubric with criteria for success, possibly through a class discussion.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not include a technologically interactive component.