Name of Unit Intro to Types of Engineering – Catching the Thief
Author(s) Dan Callahan and Shanice Kok
School Josiah Quincy
Teacher Ms Fong
Brief Description Introducing the types of engineering with the overarching theme of a detective mystery case. The king’s crown has been stolen from his castle. Students will be introduced to one type each week and will use their knowledge as clues to find the crown thief and solve the case.
Grade(s) 5th
Keywords Non-NTX, Intro to Engineering, Mystery, Water Filter, Simple Machines, Parachute, Boat, Scratch
Number of Weeks 8
Week 1 Electrical Engineering – Lights Out – Students discover that the lights are out in the castle
Week 2 Environmental Engineering – Water Filters – Students find puddles of water and must filter to water to see if there are any clues
Week 3 Computer Engineering – Scratch – Students find a piece of paper with directions on it. Use Scratch to program the path of the thief to find his location.
Week 4 Mechanical Engineering – Pulley Wall? – Students discover the map leads to the roof. Find a means to get up there.
Week 5 Aerospace Engineering – Parachute – Students build parachutes to get back down
Week 6 Civil Engineering – Building a Boat / Drawbridge? – Find out that the thief is on the other island.
Week 7 Final project?
Week 8 Final project?

One Response to Types of Engineering: Catching the Theif – Callahan + Kok

  1. Here are some notes on the scratch lesson –
    Our scratch lesson ended up extended to two weeks. The first week we had technical challenges with laptops, creating an account, getting all the material from google drive. Also, some students struggled with the programming concepts, which set us back even more. Thankfully, Ms. Fong assigned the initial task (that was supposed to complete in the first lesson) for homework. Week two we came back and made a more challenging set of directions.

    This is the scratch program we used:

    Here are some handouts:
    Basic Scratch Functions:

    Set up for our project:

    Instructions to find the thief:

    General Unit Thoughts:
    It was very fun to create and the students were adament to find the thief. This kept them interested every week for the whole semester. This is a great unit because it allows for STOMPers to customize the story and activities to fit their own mystery/investigation.

Leave a Reply

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

Switch to our mobile site