Academic journal article Science and Children

Structure and Function

Academic journal article Science and Children

Structure and Function

Article excerpt

Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open appleblossom,, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change.

--Louis Sullivan

I can't think of a better crosscutting concept (CC) to be used and highlighted to support learning about engineering than Structure and Function. As engineers consider the creation of new structures and implements, primary in their thinking is the function of each component that goes into the design of the product ... and, of course, the function of the product itself. But I can also say that I can't think of a better CC to be used and highlighted with understanding the form and adaptations of living things than Structure and Function. As we consider the human body, for instance, we have a constant reference to how various parts of the body support how we move, how we breathe, and how nutrition is used and distributed. Every science discipline provides excellent opportunities to connect with this CC, and I'm certain we have all made these connections as we design instruction. Let's look at what guidance the NGSS provide for developing the crosscutting concept Structure and Function.

The NGSS begins by explaining that to understand Structure and Function requires that students have a sense of scale. …

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