Different Beaks

ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity Different Beaks
Author Emma Coltoff, Pami Anderson
Keywords beaks, birds, animals, adaptations
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students identify the pros and cons of each beak for “consuming” each different food source.
Lesson Objectives: learn to identify the pros and cons of different forms of the same physical trait
Materials Needed: Beaks: spoons, clothespins, pipettes, chopsticks, pliers, etc.
Food sources: beans, rice, seeds, grain, gummy worms in straw, etc.
Preparation and Set Up: Put each of the food sources in a separate container
Procedure
  1. Distribute each of the different types of  ”beaks.”
  2. Distribute each of the food sources to separate groups.
  3. Have the groups use their beak to try to “consume” the food source and record their observations.
  4. Rotate the food sources until all groups have tried each of the food sources.
Extensions: More food sources, more beak options.
Modifications: Instead of using beaks, try a different physical trait.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Animal-Adaptations1.docx
Previous Activity (if applicable) Birds and Their Habitats
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Animal Adaptations

Birds and Their Habitats

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Birds and Their Habitats
Author Emma Coltoff, Pami Anderson
Keywords animal, adaptations, habitat, birds, climate
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students are assigned a habitat and must sketch a bird with physical traits that are essential to surviving in that habitat.
Lesson Objectives: identifying birds for certain habitats, emphasizing observed characteristics of animals that are fully inherited and characteristics that are affected by the climate or environment
Materials Needed: Worksheet and writing utensils
Preparation and Set Up: Assign habitats to groups/pairs within the class. Give background on the habitats.
Procedure
  1. Introduce the six habitats:
    1. Wetlands
    2. Arctic
    3. Desert
    4. Rainforest
    5. Aquatic
    6. Grasslands
  2. Assign each of the habitats to a group of students.
  3. Help the students to sketch a bird and label the characteristics of the bird that are essential to its survival in that particular habitat.
Modifications: * Add more habitats
* Have students label which traits are inherited and which are adapted
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Animal Adaptations
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Animal-Adaptations.docx

Class Circuit Acting

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Class Circuit Acting
Author STOMP
Keywords acting, circuit, electricity, resistors, current, switches, battery, electrons, protons, charge
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will work as a whole to play different parts in a circuit. There will be live presentations of electron flow, and the entire class will need to work together in a circle to make the circuit run.
Lesson Objectives: To teach the role of: wires, protons, electrons, batteries, resistors and switches.
Materials Needed: -Plastic balls (half labeled with a positive sign and the rest labeled with a negative sign)
-Two buckets: one will act as the proton side of the battery, and the other will act as the negative side of the battery.
-Signs that students can wear. Each will be assigned the symbol of either a resistor, switch (open switch on one one side of the sign and closed switch on the other), and a lamp. Students linking hands will serve to be wire.
Preparation and Set Up: Prepare all the proton and electron balls in their buckets. Have signs ready in order to assign roles to students. Before setting up the class in a circle to begin the activity, it is important to go over briefly the different parts of the circuit.
Necessary Background Understand the role of wires, resistors, open switches, and closed switches. Also understand the role of the battery and how electrons are the ones that flow throughout the circuit (use electron flow not conventional current).
Procedure
  1. Introduce all materials: balls with plus signs are protons, balls with negative signs are electrons, one bucket represents the positive terminal of the battery, another bucket represents the negative terminal of the battery, signs will be assigned to different students one by one.
  2. Get students together in a circle with the buckets filled with their respective balls also in the circle.
  3. Explain that the bucket with the protons will not be touched since the electrons will be the ones that move (electron flow).
  4. Explain that the first student will grab a ball from the electron bucket and pass it on the the student next to them.  This first student can grab more balls from the bucket and continue passing as long as all students follow the rule that you can only pass the electron if the next student doesn’t already have one.
  5. That electron will be continued to be passed around the classroom until the last student drops it into the proton bucket.
  6. Explain that all electrons move (current formed) due to attraction to protons, and that is why all the electrons end up in the proton bucket at the end.
  7. Once all electrons are exhausted explain that each student in this circuit acted as wire (wire is a path for electrons to move through).  Also explain that a circuit with only a batter and wire is a short circuit.
  8. Explain why short circuits are dangerous, and therefore circuits need resistors.
  9. Bring all electrons back to the negative terminal bucket to restart the process, this time with a new part.
  10. Introduce the first sign and assign 1 or 2 or 3 students the role of a resistor.
  11. Any student who is the resistor must count 3-5 seconds when the electron reaches them before passing it on to the next student.  This will help illustrate that resistors slow down electrons.
  12.  Restart the circuit and introduce a new sign: the switch.
  13. The switch will have an open switch on one side and a closed switch on the other.  Assign this role to a student.
  14. Start off with the open switch and attempt the activity.  Keep resistor rolls in to keep practicing the role of a resistor.  Once the electron reaches the student acting as the open switch stop the class. Ask the students if the electrons will keep moving or not.  Discuss why.
  15. Restart the circuit again this time with a closed switch.  Ask why switches might be used in a circuit.
  16. Introduce the last sign: the lamp.  When the electrons reach the student acting as a lamp let them recreate what would happen (maybe jump up to show brightness or hold the electron above their head for a moment).
  17. Review the parts of a circuit in one last run through.
Extensions: This activity is a version of an already existing activity. This activity was created because it differed from the existing version. The other version can be found under online references.
Modifications: Bring in signs of different parts: diodes, motors, and fans.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Materials1.pdf
Online Reference(s) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2013/11/01/act-out-electricity/
Previous Activity (if applicable) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2014/02/12/intro-to-static-electricity-with-balloons/
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/introduction-to-electricity-and-circuits-torres-liebman-pelaez/

Grab Bag Magnetism Investigation

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Grab Bag Magnetism Investigation
Author David Stack and Jessica Swenson
Keywords Magnetism, non-lego, science, hypothesis
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students investigate whether a material is magnetic or non-magnetic to learn the properties of magnetism.
Lesson Objectives: Understand similar properties that make something magnetic.
Materials Needed: One magnet and grab bag per group. Grab bag includes: penny, washer, nut, rubber square, clothes pin, paper clip, and battery.
Preparation and Set Up: Collect about eight objects that are magnetic or non-magnetic and put them in a bag for each group.
Procedure Give the students the grab bag of materials. Have them hypothesize (introduce this word) if each object will be magnetic or non-magnetic and record this on their investigation sheet. Have the class discuss whether they think each object is magnetic or non-magnetic and record this on the board. Give each group a magnet and have them test and record for each object. Have the class discuss the results.

Adaptations Box

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Adaptations Box
Author Emma Coltoff, Pami Anderson
Keywords animal, adaptations, habitat
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description (less than 1 hour)
STOMPers lead students in selecting physical character traits for an animal that can survive in the chosen habitat.
See link for reference: http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/ATG/data/released/0542-BehmLisa/
Lesson Objectives: to understand different physical character traits/adaptations necessary for specific habitats
Materials Needed: 1-2 shoeboxes, colored paper (for fur), cotton balls (fat), felt (feet), googly eyes (two sizes), pipe cleaners (ears), paper plate (head), popsicle sticks (neck), other (additional body parts), tape
Preparation and Set Up: attach paper plate head and neck to shoebox
Necessary Background Basic understanding of which characteristics are necessary for which habitats and why.
Procedure
  1. Select habitat
  2. Pick two students as volunteers to attach body parts to “body” (shoebox)
  3. Go through options for feet, ears, eyes, etc. with discussion of why one choice is the best
Modifications: Additional body parts can be added as deemed necessary.
Online Reference(s) http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/ATG/data/released/0542-BehmLisa/
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Animal Adaptations

City Buildings

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity City Buildings
Author Laura Fradin
Keywords civil engineering, non-NXT, non-lego, 5th grade, aguayo
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will construct buildings that belong in a city using a variety of different materials.
Lesson Objectives: -reinforce the engineering design process
-understand what civil engineers do
Materials Needed: -tape
-glue
-paper
-popsicle sticks
-cardboard
-egg cartons
-legos (if a younger group of kids)
-any other materials that might challenge kids to build a structure
Preparation and Set Up: -arrange students in pairs
-brainstorm various types of buildings needed in a city
-show students examples of non-traditional architecture and encourage them to think outside the box of normal rectangular structures.
Procedure
  1. As a class,  brainstorm building/places in a city that a civil engineer may have to design and build. Examples include: hospital, school, museum, police department, apartment building, houses, playgrounds/parks, airport, cafe/restaurants, church, bank, bridge, bookstore, etc.
  2. Arrange students in pairs and allow each group to chose ONE of the buildings/structures they want to build.
  3. Groups will first PLAN AND DRAW what they want their building to look like and what it will be made out of. Have students show their STOMP teacher the design before getting materials.
  4. Let students build. If they finish early, have them decorate it.
  5. Present.
Extensions: To make the challenge more difficult, limit students to only using one material to build.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Intro to Engineering-Let’s Build a City!

Sochi 2014 – Figure Skating

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Sochi 2014 – Figure Skating
Author STOMP Minigroups
Keywords Robotics, NXT, Olympics, Sochi, ice skating, figure skating, movement
Subject NXTs
Grade Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will program a pre-made car to move around on a “rink” like a figure skater.
Lesson Objectives: - Explore the movement options on MINDSTORMS
- Familiarize students with programming on pre-made cars
Materials Needed: NXT kits (premade cars)
Computer
Material for a rink
Optional: different colored paper for conditional programming, tape to outline a rink
Preparation and Set Up: Make NXT cars beforehand.
Set up a rink, distribute kits and cars.
Necessary Background NXT Programming (including sensors)
Building with LEGOs
Procedure - Distribute materials – Depending on the age group, introduce programming and the theme of the lesson (Olympics, Sochi, Figure Skating) to get the kids excited – Depending on the age group, decide which extensions and modifications you need in place to be at the appropriate level for the students – Have the students make their robot “figure skate” using MINDSTORMS and make their routine fit into whichever requirements you give them (e.g. +1 point for a 360, car must do a 180 every time it drives over a red block, -1 every time the car moves off the rink)
Extensions: Depending on the age group, introduce restrictions and point incentives as described above.

Chemical Reactions

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Chemical Reactions
Author Amanda Rock and Daniella DiPaola
Keywords chemical reactions, chemistry, chemical engineering, baking soda, vinegar, observations, experiment, recording data
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students perform an experiment mixing together unidentified materials to find which ones create a chemical reaction.
Lesson Objectives: Introduction to Chemical Engineering and chemical reactions. Teach students about the importance of making good observations and recording data.
Materials Needed: -Small measuring cups: http://www.amazon.com/Medline-Plastic-Medicine-Graduated-Ounce/dp/B000IFBFXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392491272&sr=8-1&keywords=measuring+cups+medicine
-baking soda
-vinegar
-flour, cornstarch, other white solid materials
-water, tea, other liquids
-eye droppers
-spoons
Preparation and Set Up: Make a worksheet with a table for the students to fill out for each combination of solid and liquid.
We pre-measured the materials into the small cups to save time but the students could do it if you have enough time. We finished the class in less than an hour when we measured them out. We used 1 Tsp of material in each cup.
Procedure 1. Number the bottom of the cups (same number for same material) so the students can tell them apart for their data because you do not tell them what the materials are, they guess at the end. 2. Measure out 1 Tsp of each material into the cups, unless you want the students to do their own measuring, then you can just give them each a larger cup with the material in it. 3. Introduce the students to Chemical Engineering, experiments, safe lab practices (no tasting), what makes a good observation, how to record accurate data. 4. Explain to the students that they want to combine each solid with each liquid only once per combination. They should make their observations of the materials before and after they combine them. Make sure they record the numbers on the bottom of each cup. 5. Pass out worksheets with blank table and materials. If you are letting the students make the measurements explain to them that there is measurements on the cups and they can use the spoon for the solid materials and the eyedropper for the liquids. 6. Let students  combine materials and fill out the table. 7. Do a wrap up about what they observed and what they think the materials were. 8. We did a demonstration of combining a lot of baking soda and vinegar so the kids could see a big reaction.  I suggest doing this over a bucket so the reaction can flow out of the cup that the baking soda is in when you pour the vinegar in.
Extensions: Do a demonstration at the end with a lot of baking soda and vinegar.
If you have the chance to go outside you could do a diet coke and mentos demonstration.
Or show youtube videos of diet coke and mentos.
Modifications: Measure out the materials ahead of time or let the students measure them out depending on how much time you have during class.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Introduction to Engineering

Paper Bridges

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

Name of Activity Paper Bridges
Author Amanda Rock and Daniella DiPaola
Keywords bridges, paper, civil
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Build a bridge out of paper and tape that can cross a one foot span between desks and support as many books as possible. You can modify the restraints to say that it must be free standing or can be taped to the desks, make it as tall as possible, restrict the amount of materials that can be used.
Lesson Objectives: Introduction to sturdy structures and Civil Engineering. You can talk about force and gravity, what shapes are stronger than others, how a piece of paper is stronger in tension than compression, how you can modify the paper to make it stronger.
Materials Needed: Paper/Newspaper, tape
Preparation and Set Up: Make a worksheet where students have a place to make an initial design.
Procedure 1. Talk about learning objectives and what a Civil Engineer does. 2. Pass out worksheets and have students draw their design alone or with their partner. 3. Pass out paper and tape once students have explained their design to you. 4. Lets students build for a while and then test it. 5. If they are successful quickly make modifications like who can make the tallest bridge or give them a little more material to make a stronger bridge.
Extensions: Limit amount of material students can use.
Build the tallest bridge.
Build a bridge that does not need to be taped to the desk.
Introduce other material options.

Squishy Circuits, Conductors, and Insulators

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Squishy Circuits, Conductors and Insulators
Author STOMP
Keywords squishy, circuit, LED, insulator, conductor
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description In this activity, the students will use previous knowledge about the basic components of a circuits to build a circuit that will light an LED light. In addition, they will predict which of a series of household materials will act as conductors and insulators – they will then test their predictions in the circuit.
Lesson Objectives: To get students to apply their knowledge of circuits and electricity to make a circuit.
Materials Needed: 9V batteries
play-doh
LED batteries
paper
plastic
pennies
string
rubber bands
cardboard
paper clips
Procedure 1. distribute materials 2.

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