|Name of Activity
||Mousetrap – Problem
||Terry Greene, Merredith Portsmore, Abe Gissen
||Engineering Design Process, problem, research, brainstorm, mousetrap, motor, sensor
||K, 1, 2, 3
||2 Hours Total
||Students will use steps of the Engineering Design Process to learn about a problem; Identify the Problem, Research the Problem, Brainstorm Possible Solutions. Students will be able to describe the need for mousetraps, different type of mousetraps and possible ways to trap a mouse.
The design challenge is for the students to work as a class to design and build a mousetrap sculpture that has at least nine movable parts, which are connected together. Small groups will work on each part. Each part must use one motor and one sensor.
||To understand the steps of the Engineering Design Process
||Mousetrap Game by Milton Bradley
Poster of the design process
Easel with plenty of paper for drafting
|Preparation and Set Up:
||Set up the classroom for easy classroom discussion.
Make a poster of the Engineering Design Process to use as an aid.
- Have the students play the Mousetrap Game by Milton Bradley.
- In a large group, discuss engineering:
- Ask if anyone knows an engineer.
- Ask what an engineer does
- Discuss what engineers do and what kinds of jobs use engineers.
- Display the steps of the Engineering Design Process. Go over each step on the poster and explain that, over the next few weeks, students will use all the steps; working like engineers to complete a challenge.
- Discuss the Mousetrap Game
- Ask individuals to share their favorite part of the game.
- Make connections to simple machines.
- Ask students how an engineer might have been involved in designing the game.
- Present the design challenge
- Tell the students that they are engineers working for a toy company.
- They have been asked to design a new toy to be modeled after the Mousetrap Game.
- The design challenge is for the students to work as a class to design and build a mousetrap sculpture that has at least nine movable parts, which are connected together. Small groups will work on each part. Each part must use one motor and one sensor.
- Explain that the students have already completed steps 1 and 2 of the Engineering Design Process
- Identify the Need/Problem
- By listening to what the teacher has assigned as the design challenge.
- Research the Need/Problem
- By playing the game.
- Have student brainstorm possible solutions (step 3 of the Engineering Design Process). Draw on math and science to articulate the solutions in two and three dimensions.
- Use an easel to record ideas and brainstorm possible ideas for different parts of the mousetrap.
- Try to make a list of about 25 possible parts of a mousetrap.
- Save these ideas for Day 2.
- Review the brainstorming session the class participated in on Day 1.
- Explain that the next step in the Engineering Design Process is to Select the Best Possible Solution to the Problem.
- Brainstorm a list of criteria for the mousetrap with the students.
- Go through the list of original parts and cross out ones that do not meet the criteria.
- Set up teams of students (usually 2 works best).
- Have each team talk about the different parts and decide on 2 – 3 that they would like to build.
- As a large group (whole class), decide which team will build which part of the mousetrap and record this on the easel.
|Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)