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Introduce your students to the Party Monsters! Your kids will be engineers – designing and creating a car to help the Party Monsters. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) state that we must incorporate engineering into our elementary science curriculum. Kids love designing and creating on their own and this packet encourages them to think like engineers. I do not tell my students how to build a car. They have to figure it out themselves through trial and error –it is the best way for them to learn the engineering process! I had my students work in groups of 2 and at the end of this unit, every group had designed a unique and functional car. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me and they feel so triumphant when they bring a design idea to life!
NGSS standards met with this packet:
Grades K- 2: ENGINEERING DESIGN
K-2-ETS1-1: 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
K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem
Grades 3-5: ENGINEERING DESIGN
3-5--ETS1-1: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that included specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
3-5--ETS1-2: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
3-5--ETS1-3: Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
-7 page story of the monsters and their problem that students must solve; discussion questions included
-student worksheet and answer key “Monster Engineers” – asking questions, making observations. I use this for students in grades 1 and up.
-3 slides of fast cars and 3 slides of wind-propelled objects along with discussion questions pointing out aerodynamic design, for student inspiration!
-student worksheet on fast car features. For students in grade 1 and up.
-Criteria for car project (I have my students work in pairs and they complete the car in class but this could be a project that is done at home). Materials: paper, tape, straws, mint Life Savers
-Directions on how to set up test track along with start and finish signs
-student worksheet “Design a Car” –students draw their design before creating it; this worksheet can be used for all ages.
-Photos of actual cars created in class and photo of test track set-up
-2 student worksheets for car races
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Please note: these units are for the use of one educator.
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Sue from Science for Kids :)