In this 1-2 week engineering design lesson, students will design and build water filters out of natural materials to simulate a filter system (bioswales) that cleans storm-water runoff before it soaks into the ground or enters a city’s storm-drain system. Their ultimate goal is to determine the combination and sequence of materials that best clean polluted water. Using materials easily found in pet stores and garden centers, students use the scientific method, students design to test and retest their designs and record, display and analyze their results.
Middle School Science
8th grade student will apply Newton’s Laws to design, test and evaluate materials to create the most protective helmet for an activity of their choice. Students will use force sensors and Vernier software to analyze the force reduction for their helmets. The culmination of this project is for students to write and present a sales pitch to promote their helmet to their peers at an annual "conference."
This Super Lesson utilizes Project Based Learning to assist learners with designing, building, and testing flying contraptions as an introduction to Engineering. The goal of this project is to engage students in collaborative team work and to introduce students to the Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, and Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.
We have offered this Super Lesson as an 8-week elective course, developing and strengthening student interest in applied Math and Science topics. It could also be offered within upper elementary or middle school Science and Math courses. In addition, each week’s topic could be used as a stand alone mini-lesson if time is limited. We have worked to include multiple options within this unit to make it accessible to both general education and special education programs, including recommendations for modifications and extensions.
An engineering and design lesson for middle school (our 7th grade standards).
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, can you engineer a device that will keep medicine within a 40-60°F range using natural resources from the biome you live in, and/or debris created by the disaster for three days, until the Red Cross can arrive?
You are a team of relief workers in __________________after a major earthquake/tsunami has occurred. Your team lead as just told you about a young women with diabetes has been injured and needs insulin to be delivered __________ miles away (no open roads). Your team will need to research, design, and build a portable device to keep the insulin between _____ and ______ °(F/C) for _____ days. Once you return you will present the effectiveness of your device to your lead and a team other relief workers showing your both your design/device and explaining the process.
Students will observe/investigate the movement of water through the different stages of the water cycle and determine what drives this cycle. Students are asked to think about what precipitation is then watch a video about why the water cycle is important. They observe a simple version of the water cycle and take some notes. Students are asked what stages require solar radiation, which require water to give off heat, and which are driven by the force of gravity. The teacher does several different demonstrations while students fill in a sheet that has the students recording their observations of different processes in the water cycle and how energy is involved. Students build their understanding of the water cycle through the different models that are shown or experienced. The culminating activity has them create their own model of the water cycle from the viewpoint of a water molecule including the processes, the energy involved, and gravity.
Using an Arduino microprocessor, students will build an automated fish food feeder so fish can be fed when no one is at school?
This project involves learning how to do simple wiring of an LED, a buzzer, and a servo (motor) to a simple-to-use Arduino microprocessor.
This project will be focused on designing, constructing and evaluating different containers to determine the optimal design for heat retention. After students have constructed their designs and collected and shared data, students will evaluate the class data to create an optimal design for our culminating event: warming ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies to perfection! Through this activity, students will learn about energy transfer, engineering design process, data collection, graphing, rate of change, optimization, surface area and proportions. The students will test the effectiveness of their design using Vernier Probes to gather quantitative data and graphing the rate of temperature change. They will then create a poster presentation to share their data to the class. Students will use their mathematical skills to quantitatively analyze the strength and weaknesses of their designs while enjoying some delicious, toasty, warm cookies.
We plan to facilitate several engineering lessons that requires students to design, build ROV controllers, calculate weight, underwater thrust and buoyancy.
This is a 21 day unit on the topic of floods. Students will plan and prepare for what might happen in the event of a flood in our area. We have had floods in the past that have affected the Walterville School, its campus, and the surrounding areas. Using this as a springboard, students will discuss the effects of flooding, do research and interview family members who have experienced flooding, and then discuss possible ways to prevent significant damage on the buildings and surrounding areas. They will then design a barrier that could protect an area from damage for a period of time. Students will need materials to conduct experiments. We have listed these in the lesson plan. We have also included a trip to the Leaburg Dam so that students can learn about dams and their uses. We plan on teaching this unit in the fall.
Students will be able to design and defend a salmon rearing tank for the highest survival rate. They will measure temperature, ph and ammonia on daily basis and make needed adjustments. Given unit ending data students will be able to determine the optimal design for a salmon rearing tank using patterns between water conditions and survival rates.
Students design and conduct simple experiments using elodea (aquatic plant sold in pet stores) and Bromthymol blue to determine whether plants consume or release carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. Students will record their data which will be used to conclude whether carbon dioxide was consumed or released by the elodea. Through class discussion of student data, students will learn that carbon dioxide was consumed during photosynthesis.
Driving Question: How can we as 7th grade math students use surface area to make a mug that retains heat for the longest amount of time possible?
Students will breed fruit flies through several generations and record their data using mathematical models in order to demonstrate the inheritance of trait variations.
Our project involves students learning about the values of a natural area in their community and producing a public service announcement and map to show its value and how it could be developed.
This interactive tool allows students to gather data using My NASA Data microsets to investigate how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the oceans and the atmosphere that globally distribute the heat. They examine the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air. Students also make predictions based on the data to concerns about global climate change. They begin by examining the temperature of oceans surface currents and ocean surface winds. These currents, driven by the wind, mark the movement of surface heating as monitored by satellites. Students explore the link between 1) ocean temperatures and currents, 2) uneven heating and rotation of Earth, 3) resulting climate and weather patterns, and 4) projected impacts of climate change (global warming). Using the Live Access Server, students can select data sets for various elements for different regions of the globe, at different times of the year, and for multiple years. The information is provided in maps or graphs which can be saved for future reference. Some of the data sets accessed for this lesson include Sea Surface Temperature, Cloud Coverage, and Sea Level Height for this lesson. The lesson provides directions for accessing the data as well as questions to guide discussion and learning. The estimated time for completing the activity is 50 minutes. Inclusion of the Extension activities could broaden the scope of the lesson to several days in length. Links to informative maps and text such as the deep ocean conveyor belt, upwelling, and coastal fog as needed to answer questions in the extension activities are included.
This web simulation allows students to explore adaptive radiation of a fictitious group of birds called Pollenpeepers over a period of 5 million years. A hurricane blows some birds to 3 very different island groups and students identify the changes that take place over time and their causes including different climates, food, competition and predators. Each of the three island groups are compared to the original habitat with respect to topography, temperature, growing season and type of vegetation. Students read about the competition that the birds face when they arrive five million years ago, look at the amount of seeds, insects and flowers present and whether the number of predators is high, medium or low. They can then go forward in time a million years at a time and see the changes that have taken place in the population of pollenpeepers in each of these time periods. Instructions to operate the simulation are included as well as a species gallery where students can explore adaptive radiation in lemurs, Galapagos finches, Hawaiian silverswords, tenrecs and Hawaiian fruit flies.
Our school, Kelly Middle School, is one of the oldest middle school buildings in 4J (primary construction was completed in 1945). Each year we practice earthquake drills. Why? Why should we be concerned about earthquakes? Where might an earthquake occur in the northwest area? Might it be minor or violent? How might this be measured? Is an earthquake a singular event, or a series of events? What increases or decreases an earthquake hazard? Do we have any early-warning systems? Is the school earthquake drill correct? Considering these questions students need to develop an understanding of how to prepare for, and react to an earthquake event. When students are comfortably informed, who should they report to?
In this project students will research and then build a basic solar cooker shell made out of cardboard. Then they will run a variety of materials through experiments. Data from the experiments will be used to determine which materials should be added to the solar cooker shell to improve its ability to heat up food.
This project was created as a collaboration between a science and an engineering/woodshop class. The engineering class researched and build the basic solar cooker cardboard shells. The science class tested additional materials to add to the shells to improve the solar cookers. Then the engineering class, following the directions from reports created by the science class, added the materials to the solar cooker shells to create the final products.
In this engineering unit, students are developing background knowledge on heat, heat transfer and conservation. While this unit can be a stand-alone exercise, it has been designed to provide a way for students to gather data and derive evidence-based conclusions to help them choose the best materials to use in a science class solar cooker project. Students build cardboard houses to explore the movement and conservation of heat energy. A heat source is placed inside the house and students use vernier temperature probes and graphing software to gather and tabulate temperature data. Each house is standard, so that the students understand that we are all gathering data in a consistent way.
Students must calculate percentage of wall space given to doors and windows. Students will compare data from team to team, examining heat loss as recorded by temperature differences as a function of window and door areas. Students will cover doors and windows with various materials, examining different insulating qualities. Students will examine the effect on temperature of different colors of wall surface on the interior of the house. After gathering data, students will work to draw conclusions from the gathering of data. Students will construct charts and tables to tabulate data by hand, then will transfer data to Excel spreadsheets if technology is available.
There is a 40% chance that the lower ⅓ of the of the Cascadia subduction zone will rupture in the next 50 years, generating a large earthquake and ensuing tsunami. In this project, students will work collaboratively to design and test a model of a vertical evacuation structure. They will evaluate the performance of their models and propose further modifications to improve their design. Students will then make a scale drawing and a model to apply math concepts of scale to designing and creating an ideal model of a vertical evacuation structure. Finally, students will present their findings and proposed final design to their peers and an adult audience. The entire process takes about 2 weeks, and was expanded to include more information and activities with earthquake/tsunami prediction and application of scale. The unit is a great fit for standards within Earth Science (specifically plate tectonics and human mitigation) as well as Engineering and Design standards.