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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

Name of Activity

Tiny Homes- Environmental Conditions and Structural Stability

Author

STOMP

Keywords

tiny homes, sustainability, materials, properties, shoebox, planning, building, stability, flexibility

Subject

Building/EDP

Grade Level

4, 5, 6, 7

Time

1 Hour

Brief Description

Students will continue working on their tiny homes by learning and applying concepts related to structural stability. Students think critically about the conditions their home has to stand up to and how they as engineers should plan and build accordingly.

Learning Goals:

Students will practice planning and working in groups. Students will gain understanding of material properties and structural stability and apply these concepts by building on to their tiny homes.

Materials:

popsicle sticks, cardboard, scissors, cotton balls, masking tape, glue gun

Preparation:

If possible have the students already in their building groups when you get there.

Knowledge Background

The teacher should have grouped the students into groups that work well together. Ideally the teacher should have some familiarity with stability and flexibility.

Procedure

  1. Recap the planning and building that students have already done on their tiny homes.
  2. Talk about how buildings need to be structurally sound to stand up to their environments.
  3. Show pictures of some structurally cool buildings (e.g. really tall, made of bamboo, lots of triangles).
  4. Introduce the terms stability and flexibility. Go over what it means for a building to be structurally sound.
  5. Before handing out materials, ask groups to plan how they want to make their homes better structurally. They should consider what part of the world they chose for their tiny home and what environmental factors exist there.
  6. Give the students access to the materials and leave them plenty of time for building.
  7. Take a break halfway through for groups to share what ideas they’ve had and what they’ve implemented so far.
  8. When a group is happy with the materials they’ve taped on use the glue gun to finalize their design.

Previous Activity (if applicable)

Tiny Homes – Temperature Control

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Tiny Homes and Energy Resources

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