Lesson Title: On Target Challenge
Students will modify a paper cup so it can zip down a line and drop a marble onto a target.
• Apply the engineering design process.
• Modify a cup to carry a marble down a zip line.
• Test their cup by sliding it down the zip line, releasing the marble and trying to hit a target on the floor.
• Improve their system based on testing results.
Lesson Activities and Sequence
Access the On Target
Keywords: engineering challenge, scientific method, rockets, moon, Newton's laws, engineering design process, moon, Mars, acceleration, vector, trajectory, potential energy, kinetic energy, LCROSS
- Introduce the challenge: Tell kids how NASA will use the LCROSS spacecraft to search for water on the moon (scripted in the Leader Notes).
- Brainstorm and design: Students should be working in cooperative groups to develop a group design and using individual journals to record their decisions, design sketches, test results, etc.
- Build, test, evaluate and redesign: Test data, solutions, modifications, etc., should all be recorded in their journals individually.
- Discuss what happened: Ask the students to show each other their modified cups and talk about how they solved any problems that came up.
- Evaluation: Using the students' journal entries, assess their mastery of content, skills and the engineering design process.
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• Understanding of the nature of science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.
• Position and motion of objects.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Expressions and Equations
• Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.
• Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.
• Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines and linear equations.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes.
• Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
• Identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
• Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
• Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
• Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
• Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.