Composites Engineering Design Challenge Part 2

Contributor
Boeing Teaching Channel
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity , Instructor Guide/Manual , Lesson/Lesson Plan , Student Guide , 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 is a two part review of a 10-day module in which students work on several mini-design challenges that culminate in a multi-day engineering design challenge. In the first 6 modules, students focus on Structure and Properties of Matter to design strong and lightweight materials while focusing on the Engineering Design Process. In modules 7-10, students engage in a Composites Engineering Design Challenge as they design test, retest, optimize, and present their prototypes of a new type of composite material with the most tensile strength. The focus of this review is on modules 7-10, the culminating design challenge. The entire 10 day module is included here for reference: https://www.teachingchannel.org/composite-materials-lesson-plan-boeing

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
  • Grade 5
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

5-PS1-4 Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.

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 have learned in the previous modules and investigations that when two or more different substances are mixed, a new substance with different properties may be formed. In this design challenge students bring together what they learned about materials and their properties to create a weave design with a maximum amount of loading strength before it fails.

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 is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students use pennies to test the tensile strength of the teams' design prototype. The student handbook (pages 23 to 28) gives the student teams space to compare each of their four weave designs to see how well they meet the criteria and constraints they decided on. It is suggested that students share their constraint and criteria ideas, brainstorming what will happen before they test.

3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Student teams are challenged to design a weave pattern that creates the highest tensile strength for their Paper Podge Composite challenge. Using pages 19-29 of their student handbook, students record their ideas as they brainstorm and test their weave patterns. Student teams define the problem and create their own specific criteria and constraints with the materials provided. Questions for guidance are included: What are the criteria for this design challenge (lightweight, high tensile strength, etc.)? What are the constraints for this design challenge (woven, only can use paper towels and Mod Podge®, etc.)?

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 create and test 4 different weave designs to see which is the strongest and compare them to see how well they meet the criteria and constraints the team decided on. Students are given time to build, test, redesign, and retest their prototypes to see which one will be the strongest when they test it with pennies. Giving the teams of students the time to redesign one or more prototypes and retest the optimized designs provides the opportunity to compare the multiple solutions of each team with the rest of the class during the final presentation.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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
Connections are built between materials science and composite engineering as students explore the benefits that composites give to the structure of their designs. Working with paper towels as the reinforcement ingredient and Mod Podge® (decoupage glue), students bring together what they learned about materials and their properties from Lessons 1-6 to create a weave design with a maximum amount of loading strength before it fails.

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Student teams decide the desired criteria of the solution. Helpful hints/testing procedure ideas are given on page 7 of the Teacher Guide to help students decide what failure would look like (e.g., drop pennies one at a time onto the mat from a short distance and count how many pennies the mat can support before it fails). Students are encouraged to write their reflections in their handbook comparing how well each of the four weaves they created meets the criteria for success.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
When testing each of the weave designs, students recognize that using different weaves impacts how well it stands up to the penny test as noted on page 23 of the Student Handbook. Students then reflect on what happened and why they think it happened to explain the change in strength of their weave. It is suggested that students connect to real life situations by possibly researching how a company like Bounty tests paper towels for tensile strength.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource is superior in working toward the conceptual shifts advocated by the NGSS. Students design solutions to a problem using all three dimensions. Students apply their understanding of materials science through each module as they follow the engineering design process. The included presentation supports student growth in the Grade 5 speaking and listening English Language Arts standards.

  • Instructional Supports: Strategies for teachers to help with managing student frustration and guiding them to learn from the iterative cycles of the engineering design are included. This resource provides numerous opportunities for students to connect their explanation of a phenomenon and/or their design solution to a problem to their own experiences. Guidance for teachers to support differentiated instruction in the classroom is included.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This resource provides multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate performance of practices connected with their understanding of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. Important notes are labeled throughout the teacher guide to facilitate student reflections and learning. Formative assessments of three‐dimensional learning are embedded throughout the instruction with reflective questions located in each module for teacher guidance. A rubric is included for the final presentation that can provide guidance for interpreting student performance.

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