ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Snow! Snow! Snow!
Author STOMP
Keywords vehicle, snow, Simple Machines, prototype, Engineering Design Process, constraints
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car.
Lesson Objectives: - To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world.
Materials Needed: - Tape to mark the ‘road’.
- Packing peanuts (light snow).
- Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow).
- Wet paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow).
- LEGO Simple Machines kits.
- ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’.
- ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet’.
- Pictures of different snowplow designs.
For Extensions:
- Ruler.
- Blank paper for advertisement.
Preparation and Set Up: - Obtain three different types of snow.
- Set up three ‘roads’ with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
- Print out enough worksheets for the class.
- Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits.
Necessary Background the engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design:

Step 1. Identify the need/problem

Step 2. Research the need/problem

Step 3. Develop possible solutions

Step 4. Select the best possible solution

Step 5. Construct a prototype

Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s)

Step 7. Communicate the solution(s)

Step 8. Redesign

Vocabulary:
All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
Prototype
Engineering design process
Constraints

Procedure Author: STOMP Time: 1 – 2 one-hour class periods Description: Students will be asked to design a vehicle that will clear three different types of “snow” from a path with a motorized simple machines car. Grade Level:

  • K-3

Lesson Objectives: To engage students in an open-ended engineering design challenge that utilizes their motorized vehicles and allows students to make a connection with the real world. Materials Needed:

  • Tape to mark “road”
  • Packing Peanuts (light snow)
  • Extra white LEGO bricks (medium snow)
  • Wet Paper towel or small stones (wet/heavy snow)
  • LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • ‘Engineer’s Planning Worksheet’
  • ‘Engineer’s Final Report’ Worksheet
  • Pictures of different snowplow designs.

For Extensions

  • Ruler
  • Blank paper for advertisement.

Preparation and Setup:

  • Obtain three different types of snow.
  • Set up three “roads” with tape, one as a test site for each type of snow (light, medium, wet/heavy).
  • Print out enough worksheets for the class.
  • Print out photos of different snowplow designs/methods for removing snow (shovels, snowblowers, plows).
  • Arrange students in pairs
  • Distribute LEGO Simple Machines kits

Teacher Background: the engineering design process is an eight step process that engineers use to design: Step 1. Identify the need/problem Step 2. Research the need/problem Step 3. Develop possible solutions Step 4. Select the best possible solution Step 5. Construct a prototype Step 6. Test and evaluate the solution(s) Step 7. Communicate the solution(s) Step 8. Redesign Vocabulary:

  • All pieces in LEGO Simple Machines kits
  • Prototype
  • Engineering design process
  • Constraints

Procedure: Talk about this lesson using the Engineering Design Process

  1. Identify Problem: Pose this design challenge as the problem: The town’s people need a vehicle that can drive around and clear the roads of snow so that cars can drive on them.
  2. Research:  Think about vehicles that clear the road of snow and different types of plows (show photographs).
  3. Brainstorm: Talk about how you might build some of the ideas in research out of LEGO materials.
  4. Choose and Plan: Have students fill out the ‘Engineer’s Planning Sheet’ and have each partner circle what they will build.
  5. Create:Have students build their design and help students solve design challenges.
  6. Test: Explain the tests that the students must pass:
    1. Pick-Up Test: The design must stay together when it is picked up
    2. Snow Tests:
      1. Light Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the cotton balls
      2. Medium Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the LEGO bricks
      3. Heavy Snow: The vehicle must be able to clear a path in the wet paper towels.
  7. Redesign: Have students rebuild vehicles until they have passed all the tests and can clear every type of snow.
  8. Share: Have students fill out the ‘Final Report’ worksheet. Come together as a class.
    1. Compare different designs (straight plows, V-plows, width of plows, proximity to the ground, number of pieces).
    2. Talk about difficulties in building and the solutions students came up with.
Extensions or Modifications: - Few students may actually complete this lesson, so have those who do help other students.
- Students can create an advertisement for their snow plow, writing/drawing why it is a good design.
- Students can use this as a counting and categorizing exercise:
– How many beams did you use?
– How many plates?
– What are the measurements of your car?

Modifications:
- Record what students have passed what tests with a chart.
- If student’s plows are too low to the ground have the students raise the plows.

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow1.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Snow2.pdf
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