How can we detect life on Mars using a robot?
How can we design and construct a bridge over the Boise River to resist an earthquake?
Build and test a bridge to resist earthquakes
Students will build a bridge to satisfy requirements by trial and error
Students will apply logic learned regarding shapes and bridges in designing the bridge
Students will keep a journal and make a presentation to the class
The teacher starts the session by distributing the design sketches that were submitted at the end of the last session. The students get 5 minutes to go over their designs and role assignments that were made at the end of the last session. Then students are directed to start building process.
Building a Bridge
Part 2 (45 minutes)
Student Instructions (15 minutes)
Collect all K’NEX components and prepare site for the start of construction.
Lay out all your K’NEX components for easy and fast access to help the bridge construction.
You are not allowed to pre-assemble any parts of the bridge before construction starts.
Once construction has started, pre-assembly of bridge parts can take place.
Start Bridge Construction (30 minutes)
Once all teams have completed building their bridges, the teacher starts the testing process that includes loading, earthquake simulation and reloading.
The bridge should support 2 kg anywhere on the load without any bending
The bridge should receive ‘OK’ or ‘Caution’ performance remark
The bridge should support a loading of 1.5 to 2.0 kg anywhere in the load without any bending
Discussion Among Design Teams
Depending on their performance of their bridges, students discuss what worked and what did not work. Then, students discuss what they could have done differently and note those points in their journals.
End of Session Reflection and Debriefing
Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. Using the problem solving process diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.
What did I learn today?
What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?
How did I use the problem solving skills/processes/CT components?