Unit: Engineering - Design Process
Grade Levels: 7-9
Connection To Curriculum: Science and Technology
Teacher Prep Time: 40 minutes
Lesson Time Needed: 1 hour
Keywords: design process, energy, motion, robotics, vision, direction
3 large Styrofoam meat trays (at least 9 by 11 inches)
4 flexible plastic drinking straws
3 small (10-inch) bamboo skewers (for making shish kababs)
7 pea-sized blobs of clay or Play-doh© or 7 small gum drops
1 large wire paper clip
1 small (7-inch) party balloon
1 small rubberband
Transparent tape (not the removable kind)
Printed pattern, decals and wheel treads (all on 2 sheets of paper)
Design and build a robotic rover with cardboard and a balloon.
• Design a rover using patterns and materials provided.
• Investigate the engineering challenges of wheels, speed and friction.
• Examine the concept of a prototype in engineering.
• Demonstrate the use of potential and kinetic energy.
• Explain ways the rover can be used in space travel and exploration.
Space Place - Make a Balloon-Powered Nanorover Lesson
[100KB PDF file]
Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
Lesson Activities and Sequence
Build a Nanorover
Use cardboard and a balloon to power a rover across the floor.
Keywords: design process, energy, motion, robotics
Be Glad You're Not a Cyclops!
Keywords: dimension, vision, images
MARSDIAL: Show Me the Way to Go Home
Keywords: direction, shadows, geometric measuring
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
• Motions and Forces.
• Transfer of Energy.
Science in Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
Research and Information Fluency
• Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
• Process data and report results.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.