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STEAM Glider Prototype Engineering Challenge for Upper Elem Gifted and Talented

STEAM Glider Prototype Engineering Challenge for Upper Elem Gifted and Talented
STEAM Glider Prototype Engineering Challenge for Upper Elem Gifted and Talented
STEAM Glider Prototype Engineering Challenge for Upper Elem Gifted and Talented
STEAM Glider Prototype Engineering Challenge for Upper Elem Gifted and Talented
Grade Levels
Common Core Standards
Product Rating
4.0
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File Type

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4 MB|19 pages
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Product Description
We use the engineering process for this open-ended design challenge. All semester, my GATE kids have been building different gliders from blueprints, direct instruction, specific materials with patterns, and even store-bought balsa wood fighter gliders.
Now it’s time for the real test!

Can students construct—limited to specific resources—a glider which meets the three guidelines in the rules? As a bonus, can students research and apply physics knowledge to their real-world prototyping challenge (references to reading information standards)? Let’s have a go!

Use this STEAM challenge to emphasize the engineering process . . . in particular, the application of patience, grit, testing, and re-testing, and going back to the old drawing board.

Also included is an activity for “displacement” review, scores sheets, bonus activity sheets, a debriefing activity, and photos of the process.

This lesson might be a social-emotional lesson for gifted students. Discuss what it means to design and re-design. The process is not one of failure. It’s one of discovery! Take the opportunity to praise stick-to-itiveness. Success also goes to the person who learns the most.

That said, I recommend that you try this challenge yourself. I did, and I saw very quickly that it was not easy. From cutting and taping the trash bags and connecting the straws, it took patience. I built what I thought would be an excellent glider only to feel the frustration when it neatly flipped over backwards. I asked kids for their advice and tried several different weight combinations before I got the glider to work well. By participating in the process with the kids and sharing my frustrations, I raised my credibility with them.

Materials:
Trash bags
String
Paper clips, nuts, washers etc. for weight.
Tape
Flexible straws

Time: 2 to 3+ hours

Level: 3rd grade and beyond. Even works for college physics majors.
Total Pages
19 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
Other
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