A Place in the Shade- An Engineering Challenge

Contributor
Joyce Baumann
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan , Model
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

In this lesson students collaborate while planning, constructing, and testing a structure that reduces the warming effect of sunlight on an ice cube.  This is the seventh lesson of a nine lesson betterlesson.com unit by Joyce Baumann.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

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
This lesson affords students the opportunity to work collaboratively to design and build models that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an ice cube. After the structures are built the students test their structures outside. As a class they analyze the results of each structure compared to each other and to the control ice cube. The designs of the student-built structures would be enhanced if students were provided with background information about materials and how sunlight affects them prior to completing this lesson. Completing the lesson as instructed fully meets this Performance Expectation.

K-PS3-2 Use tools and materials provided to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.

Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents that minimize the warming effect of the sun.

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students work collaboratively using tools to design a structures that will prevent an ice cube from melting. Students test their structures outside. The results of each structure are compared to the control ice cube and finally the results are analyzed. Students should 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. Completing the lesson as instructed and adding the suggestion fully meets this Performance Expectation.

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
This lesson affords students the opportunity to work collaboratively to design and build models that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an ice cube. After the structures are built, the students test their structures outside. As a class they analyze the results of each structure compared to each other and to the control ice cube. This allows the Practice to be met.

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
This Disciplinary Core Idea is addressed indirectly in this lesson. The teacher will need to use questioning techniques to ensure that the students understand the ice cube is melting because of sunlight. The students are being asked to build a structure that will lessen the effect of sunlight on an ice cube.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To fully address the Core Idea, the teacher should ensure that students use journals or develop a Student Activity Page to formally record the questioning, planning, creating and testing phases during the engineering process. Students could extend their learning by sharing their reasonings for building the structure that they built before they test it. After class evaluations, they should share how they would change the design to work better.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
During the testing phase of this lesson students will begin to understand that an ice cube will melt if it is in the sun because the sunlight heats it. The shade structure will affect the speed at which the ice cube melts. Teachers can reinforce this Crosscutting Concept by helping students recognize and record this observation and by asking questions directly related to cause and effect relationship pattern.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson addresses all three dimensions of learning as defined by the NGSS. This lesson meets the Performance Expectation for first grade, Disciplinary Core Idea, and Science and Engineering Practices by having students investigate a real-world problem of how to limit the warming effect of sunlight. Students ask questions about the materials they use, imagine and plan the structure they build, and build then test their structure. Finally, the class analyzes effectiveness of each structure that was built as compared to the control ice cube with no structure over it.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson provides a relevant task. It provides opportunity for students to express and represent their ideas. It also offers teacher supports which include photographs of student work samples, videos of lesson segments and suggested questioning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This lesson does provide video examples and student work samples. It is recommended that the students use a notebook or that the teacher designs a student activity sheet that can be used to record all the needed engineering process thinking and data analyzing. It is also recommended that each structure be photographed, and the students explain why they built the structure the way they did before the structures are tested. The teacher will also need to collect anecdotal notes or develop an assessment/rubric for this lesson to fully monitor student progress. In the ninth lesson of this unit, students are given the opportunity to redesign their structure. Then students demonstrate how they would improve upon their design. After a second testing time, students explain what changes were made and why the changes were or were not successful.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This lesson provides videos as support for the teacher. It is recommended that the teacher have the students take a picture of their structure before it is tested. The picture should be saved, and a new picture taken after redesign. After testing the structures, the students would have evidence of the changes that made to their structures.