How can we make sand stand tall?
What are the common types of reinforcements available for soil (as done in the field)?
What reinforcement materials give the sand most strength?
Students will test different reinforcement materials and explain how different materials strengthen the sand.
Reinforcement, layers of reinforcement
Different layers with plastic sticks
Results from different layers with plastic sticks
Test & hypothesize results
The facilitator will review learning in the previous section. If the previous section is not completed, they will continue it. The facilitator leads a discuss about the reinforcement materials.
What reinforcement materials did we use in the last session?
How do you think different types of reinforcement materials will impact the sand strength?
Video: The Reinforced Earth Company
The teacher says, “Let’s watch a short video looking at how important this reinforcement is!” Plays the following video: Geo synthetic Materials and Applications
Strength of Reinforcement Materials
Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry (40 minutes)
The facilitator asks students “What did we test with the reinforcement last time?” Then the facilitator says “We will be testing several different materials as reinforcement to see what works best today. The testing procedure is similar to what you did in the last session but the focus is on the materials this time.” The facilitator asks students what reinforcement materials did they use last time. Then the facilitator tells students that they will get “paper, cloth, wire mesh, and plastic sticks” to test today. The facilitator asks the guiding question:
How are these materials different?
How will they impact the sand strength?
Which material will make the strongest sand?
The facilitator asks students to write down their prediction on their worksheet. The facilitator reminds students the importance of documenting their observation on the worksheet. Then the facilitator hands in students the resources for this activity.
Case 1 (no reinforcement): Students pour sand to fill the box. No reinforcement is added in this step. Students then put the weight on the sand and observe the sand level. Document their observation on the worksheet. After recording the observation, empty the box for Case 2.
Case 2 (one material): Students identify the middle of the box. Students pour the sand until the box is half filled. Students add the first reinforcement material (either paper, cloth, wire mesh or plastic sticks) in the middle. Then pour the sand to fill the box. Put the weight and observe the sand level. Students document their observation on the worksheet. After recording the observation, empty the box for Case 3.
Case 3 (one material): Students repeat the process of Case 2 but use a different reinforcement material. Students document their observation on the worksheet. After recording the observation, empty the box for Case 4.
Case 4 (one material): Students repeat the process of Case 2 but use a different reinforcement material. Students document their observation on the worksheet. After recording the observation, empty the box for Case 5.
Case 5 (one material): Students repeat the process of Case 2 but use a different reinforcement material. Students document their observation on the worksheet.
Pile of Sand
Reinforcement Materials (students will use these materials as it is, do not need to process the materials)
10 minute break
Whole Group Discussion
The facilitator leads a discussion and might consider using the following guiding questions:
What did you observe?
What did you learn from Case 1 to Case 5?
What can you conclude about how different materials impact the sand strength?
How can these ideas relate back to friction and density we learned last week? (not sure about this one)
The general conclusion from this hand-on activity should be sand will be stronger with stronger reinforcement materials. In the case of the experiment, mesh wire will give the most strength.
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?