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Name of Activity

Living in Material World

Author

Eleanor Richard Eva Philip

Keywords

Materials, Sturdy Structures, Preparation for Project

Subject

Building/EDP

Grade Level

K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Time

Less than 1 Hour, 1 Hour

Brief Description

In this activity explores the importance of materials in engineering and allows students to generate their own knowledge about what materials they should use for what purposes.

Learning Goals:

– Understand that different materials are useful for different purposes

– Explore how the type of material affects how and for what purpose a project functions

– See one object from multiple perspectives by determining both deficits and positives of the same object

– Test and explore multiple materials

– Determine what the goals of your project are and what the best materials are to fit those goals

– Collect information from a test

– Make conclusion based on data

– Use information and data gathered in a test to inform a design

– Make a design and plan for a future project consider which materials are best suited

Materials:

– tape (duck, masking, scotch) – string

– straws (paper or plastic)

– tooth picks

– Popsicle sticks – glue

– spaghetti

– pipe clears

– cardboard

– paperclips

– paper

– foam core (poster board) – wooden dowels

– plastic utensils – coffee filters

– yarn

– q-tips

– paper cups

– plastic cups

– styrofoam cups – felt fabric

– cotton balls

– scissors

Preparation:

Copy the work for the class

Gather all the materials needed

Knowledge Background

Importance of Materials: http://www.pomsmeetings.org/confpapers/011/011-0176.pdf

Procedure

– Introduced the idea of materials.  Sometimes you have a budget for a product so you can’t have the most ideal materials.  Discuss how all materials have strengths and weaknesses and deciding on your materials for a project is a balance.

– The classroom split into groups and each group was given a worksheet.  They were required to take 5 of the materials from a table in the back and record their strengths and weaknesses.  Every group had to create their own physical test for at least one material (i.e. baring, elasticity) and explain the how they went about their test.

– The groups then used their knowledge from their observations to design a first sketch of their model house.

– The classroom came together at the end and individuals shared the strengths and weakness of some materials and how they came to that conclusion.

 

Modifications:

This can activity is a great preparation for any bigger project, and always students to plan and design with more thought and consideration.

Reference 1

https://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Materials-Worksheet.pdf

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Smart Houses

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Three Little Pigs House Building
Author Emily Lai and Emily Naito
Keywords three little pigs, build, house
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description After reviewing the story of the 3 little pigs, students get into groups and build three houses out of different materials. Then, the houses are tested with a fan to see if the “big bad wolf” can knock their houses down.
Lesson Objectives: – Using the engineering design process
– Learn to build with different materials and adjust designs based on constraints of materials
Materials Needed: House 1: Paper
House 2: Straws (cut in half), popsicle sticks
House 3: Lego Bricks

Tape
Scissors
Glue

Fan (paper fan, folder, etc.)

Preparation and Set Up: Arrange students in pairs

Cut straws in half

Necessary Background Know the three little pigs story.
Procedure 1. Tell story of the three little pigs. 2. Assign students to pairs, and distribute pairs evenly into three different stations (one station for each house) 3. Plan/Discuss possible house designs with partner 4. Construct house out of given materials 5. Rotate through stations until every group has build three houses. 6. Test designs by using a fan to see if the houses blow down.
Modifications: Limit the amount of tape/glue students can use for their houses.
Instead of a paper fan, use a hair dryer or a mechanical fan.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Robotics in Motion – Naito and Lai

Tufts Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program • 200 Boston Ave. • Suite G810 • Medford, MA • 617-627-5888

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