These two STEM projects are designed to introduce basis principals of physics as well as strengthen your students understanding of the Engineering Design Process.
This 4-day sequence has your students working individually and in groups to build three different towers using different materials. Students begin with a group challenge of creating a tower using plastic cups but only rubber bands and straws to move the cups and build. The next lesson introduces vocabulary associated with the Engineering Design Process and challenge students to use marshmallows and spaghetti noodles to create a tower that meets the project's criteria. Finally, students build another tower, this time using toothpicks and wood glue. This two day lesson introduces the idea of constraints and reinforces the idea of criteria.
Throughout each lesson students are drawing blueprints, building their designs, improving their designs and the re-building to build the best possible catapult or lever. These lessons can be used as either a review or introduction to the Engineering Design Process as well as an introduction to Physics.
NGSS Standards Addressed:
K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems: Before beginning to design a solution, it is important to clearly understand the problem.
3-5-ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
This Unit Includes:
- 2 days of highly detailed, step-by-step lesson plans that can be used as designed, or modified for your specific students. Lesson plans are in the 5 "E" format and are a great resources for your STEM unit.
-A complete list of all materials needed for each activity.
-2 days of student worksheets. These work sheets are used to progressively grow your students understanding of Tower designs and the Engineering Design process.