3-5-ETS1-3 Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
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
The students will plan and carry out the testing of their models, but the conducting of fair tests is not explicit in this activity. A lesson reviewing what variables are and how to control them in an investigation may be necessary depending on the prior knowledge the students have about these concepts. Older students and adults tend to manipulate multiple variables as they engineer. For third graders, it is suggested that the students be guided to test and record the results of one manipulated variable at a time as they are still learning the design process. Failure points will automatically be considered as students evaluate and redesign their models.
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
As part of the engineering process students will generate solutions as they brainstorm, design, and build their models. They will compare multiple solutions as they test, evaluate, and redesign their prototypes. The success of their models in meeting the criteria and constraints of the problem will guide the students’ redesign process. Students learn best from each other so it is recommended that the student share their prototypes with the class each time they redesign, along with what worked, didn’t work, and why. Students should also be allowed to engage in the redesign process for as much time as the instructional schedule will allow.
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 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 Performance Expectation is closely aligned to Performance Expectation 3-PS2-4 and the tips provided there also apply here. Having the students define the problem themselves is highly recommended as it invests them in the design challenge. Furthermore, criteria and constraints set by the students often exceed teacher expectations, making the task more rigorous. They will also persevere to achieve success because they set the expectations themselves.
3-PS2-4 Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.
Clarification Statement: Examples of problems could include constructing a latch to keep a door shut and creating a device to keep two moving objects from touching each other.
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
This activity challenges students to design a model that mimics how NASA engineers use a planet’s gravity to increase a spacecraft’s speed and “steer” it by changing its direction. For students to solve this problem they must have multiple experiences with magnetic interactions between two objects that are not in contact with each other. The connection between gravity and magnetism as field forces that can be exerted over a distance needs to be established in order to define the problem: How can a model of gravity-assisted travel be created using magnetic force? They may need to engage in the following lessons to understand gravity as a force: http://hawaii.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfe.lp_gravity/gravity-and-falling-objects/
To further assist students with defining the problem, the following resources,are recommended to develop their understanding of gravity-assisted travel: http://www.windows2universe.org/kids_space/gravity_assist.html
These lessons will help strengthen the students’ understanding of gravity. Specifically, the simulations of gravity assist as spacecraft fly by Jupiter and Venus enable students to understand the scenario and show that the gravitational force of this planet is related to its size: http://messenger-education.org/Interactives/ANIMATIONS/grav_assist/gravity_assist.html
Learn about how gravitational force affects the spacecraft, Juno here: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/earth-flyby
It is also recommended that one of these resources be used at the outset of the lesson to introduce the phenomena of gravity-assisted travel and to provide a reference from which to introduce key vocabulary concepts. It is also important that connections be made between the concepts of gravity-assisted travel with the initial model they create in Step 2 of the challenge.