Magazine article Children's Technology and Engineering

Using Problem-Solving Skills to Construct Airplanes - Becoming an Engineer!

Magazine article Children's Technology and Engineering

Using Problem-Solving Skills to Construct Airplanes - Becoming an Engineer!

Article excerpt

Book Used: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty Illustrated by David Roberts New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013

Grades 3-4 Technology Education and Science Project

objectives

1. Given a technology (computer or iPad), students will complete an organizer to effectively research designs and materials to help develop their model airplane.

2. Using problem-solving skills, students will construct an airplane that will fly at least 10 feet on four out of five trial opportunities.

3. Students will reflect on their project and collaboratively discuss their solution and results of their design, variables, and construction of their airplanes.

materials needed

* Student resources

* Student handouts

* Toothpicks

* Straws

* Popsicle sticks

* Construction paper

* Paper

* Rubber bands

teacher background

The teacher will read the story Rosie Revere, Engineer to the class. In previous weeks, the class has been discussing the term "engineer" and what it means to be one. The teacher may either read the story aloud or play the read-aloud video included on the cover page.

Throughout the story, the students will observe how Rosie's engineering designs were not always successful. Towards the end of the story, Rosie will be faced with the challenge of constructing an airplane for her aunt. When Rosie thinks that she has failed her aunt, her aunt reassures her that her airplane was surely a success because it was only her first attempt. Rosie's airplane did indeed fly before it crashed and her aunt encourages her to never quit!

student introduction

As we have just read, Rosie Revere is determined to be an engineer. Her ideas are unique and always have to undergo a test. Rosie's first attempt with her new designs is not always a success, but her aunt makes sure that she doesn't give up! Although Rosie's plane only flies for a short quest, her aunt encourages her to keep trying. That is your challenge today: you are going to be an engineer and use research to help you design and construct an airplane that can fly at least ten feet! Perhaps you have to change variables and use different materials in order for your plane to fly farther, but the process is up to you! There will be a testing zone for your group to test your plane's flight before you are assessed formally.

procedure

1. To begin the lesson, inform students of the problem that they will be solving today. Problem: Using problem-solving skills, students will construct an airplane that will fly at least 10 feet on four out of five trial opportunities.

2. Next, pass out a note-taking sheet for each student in the group. They are to do research on their own; each student should gather information that he or she thinks would be valuable in the design of their airplane. The students should create a bibliography as well. They may include the websites that they used in their research, or books that they may have used.

3. Next, split the class up into groups of three or four. Pass out ONE design sheet (Attempt #1 ) to each group. Each group should include all of the names in each group, the materials that they will use to construct their plane, and a picture of their model plane on the sheet. The problem has already been provided for them on the design sheet.

4. *The teacher should be using proximity control to make sure that all students' ideas and suggestions are being taken into account. However, the teacher is only there as a guide to scaffold as little as possible; students should develop ideas based on their individual curiosities.

5. The teacher should have previously gathered materials that the students can use for the construction of their airplane. Students should also be encouraged to use any other materials or objects of their choice.

6. Allow groups to begin designing their model airplanes.

7. A section in the classroom should be created as the "testing zone. …

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