"I have been using Mystery Science and one of the lessons in Forces and Motion discussed what made the "Strongest Bridge." The students (in groups) each got 2 pieces of paper to design the strongest bridges, meaning could hold the most pennies. The bridge needed to be a least 3 inches wide and span at least 6 inches long over two think books or 4 medium books (two stacked on either side). The students had to record how many pennies their bridge held before collapsing and then redesign three times to try and improve the strength of their bridge. No scissors or tape could be used." Lindsay Hess, 3rd grade, Wade Thomas
Great 5th grade unit that was developed by Tom Kiehfuss at San Pedro. Tom used "The Fabulous Perpetual Motion Machine" by Don Abramson for his close reading text (from Pearson). Google it!
3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design
3-5-ETS1-1 Engineering Design
5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
5-PS3-1 Energy (focusing mainly on the crosscutting concept that Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects).
Power Point was too big too attach to this site. I converted it to a PDF. Please email me if you want the Powerpoint version
4th grade at Dixie used the EIE Windmill unit. Megan writes: "I didn't have enough time to go through the whole unit so I pieced together a 6 lesson mini unit. I also modified the materials that were used to construct the windmills."
Building windmills at Bahia Vista, Colin Johnson, 4th grade (Using Engineering is Elementary lessons)
6th Grade- Davidson Middle School- John Flanagan
Thanks Nate McDonald from White Hill for this video about a great project. "These robots are an inexpensive way to have students complete circuits to make an interactive robot. Using a AA battery, a hobby motor, wires, and a couple markers with a cup, students can make a ScribbleBot. I love this lesson because students can rapidly go through the engineering design cycle to get their ScribbleBot working and to change the way the robot draws."
Thank you Colin Johnson, 4th grade, Bahia Vista: " I learned about the Speedometry program from an offer included in my Scholastic News. I have received the FREE classroom kit and have used the materials to experiment with the slope of ramps, and ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. Additionally my students measured distances and converted between different units. For instance meters to cm and/or mm. The downloadable curriculum from the University of Southern California’s School of Education is detailed and comprehensive. My students were excited to use the Hot Wheels which resulted in them taking a while to settle down before focusing on the activity, but the end result was very good."
Speedometry™ is a free-to-use curriculum targeting fourth grade (8-9 year old) students. Comprised of two units with up to six lessons per unit, Speedometry™ provides coursework intended to cover a period of 10-12 days. Students work in collaborative learning groups to deepen their understanding of speed, angles, slopes, collisions, kinetic energy, and potential energy. The lessons and activities aim to put students on course for success in science and mathematics
4th graders in iTEAMS classrooms will be working on a gravity car design challenge this Spring using the Sonoma Raceway Race Car Challenge curriculum. Included below are links to videos used by various 4th grade teachers.
4th graders at San Pedro School... parachutes! To introduce the concepts and vocabulary of gravity and air resistance or drag.
The students looked at how toy cars, balls, and marbles roll on different surfaces and inclines. What made a difference? How much the incline? How much the car weighed? What types of surfaces worked better? The students used surfaces around the playground (slides, blacktop, inclined cement surfaces, grass, inclined grass, flat cement, etc) to test out their theories. Discussion about friction and aerodynamics followed.
Aerodynamics and drag. Students did a close reading with the passages from Sonoma Raceway. The took a field trip to the parking lot to discover cars that were more and less aerodynamic. They drew pictures of the most aerodynamic cars and included airflow with arrows.
Since the class is still collecting materials for their cars, a lesson was needed to "fill in." This lesson was a perfect fit. It gave the students an opprotunity to design and re-deisgn on a smaller scale and learn more about cars and another aspect that effects their movement: wheels. (This came from the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) free resource "Go Green! Recycled Racers").
Building a racer. The students created a racer from a set of directions. This gave them the a certain understanding of some of the things they need to consider when they build their own car. It helps to give some common ground for all students to start with.
Build their OWN racers!
Students use all they have learned in the previous lesson to build, test, redesign, build, test, redesign until race day. Picture below are from Manor School and San Pedro.
Design Day Mary E. Silveira with Gina Tanner and Ed Malaret
More pictures form Manor School in Ross Valley with Mary Accord as they build and test!
Building Day at Wade Thomas in Ross Valley with Jenny Cavanna's class!
Race Day at Ross Valley Schools! 4th grade students from three elementary schools, Wade Thomas, Brookside, and Manor, come together for a final race!
Wade Thomas come out as champions!
Molly O'Donoghue used another unit to start of her racers, "I started off my racers unit with a simple design challenge to build a mover that could carry a match box 5 feet. Groups had to work together."
Thanks Ed Malaret from Mary E. Silveira for these great resources. I got to see his kids in action using some of these resources. They gave them the opportunity to try new things and explore the concepts of energy and energy transfer with objects they can find in their homes. Great way to help start an dinner time conversation.
iTEAMS is a professional development research project designed to provide teachers with support to deepen their content knowledge and pedagogy to promote STEM education aligned to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).