Project 3 How can we make sand stand tall?

STEM+C Projects

A Project-based STEM+Computing Inquiry

About

This project was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant Number 1640228. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Dazhi Yang at dazhiyang@boisestate.edu or use our Contact Form.

Description

This project-based scientific inquiry project: How can we make sand stand tall? Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Implementation

Please refer to the weekly activities (such as Week 1 Session 1 in the left sidebar and Resources from the sections below) for detailed information on how to use this project either in a classroom or an informal setting such as in community centers' after-school programs. The twice weekly sessions were originally designed to be 90 minutes in length, including a 10 minute break in the middle of the session. See photos of prior implementations on the projects' photo pages.


Week 5


Session 1
Questions

Where should we place the reinforcement? Top, bottom, or all over?


Activities

Hands on activity

Whole group discussion


Resources

Problem Solving Process

The Placement of Reinforcement with Wire Mesh Worksheet


Outcomes

Describe and test the best placement for reinforcement.

Session 2
Questions

Where should we place the reinforcement? Top, bottom, or all over?


Activities

Hands on activity

Whole group discussion


Resources

Problem Solving Process

The Placement of Two Layers of Reinforcement with Wire Mesh Worksheet


Outcomes

Describe and test the best placement of the reinforcement materials.

Create a model to test theory.

How can we make sand stand tall?


Entry Event 10 minutes

The facilitator reviews the previous sections. The facilitator asks student “what have you learned about the reinforcing sand? We did several experiments last week, do you remember what we did? Who can tell me what you learned about the layers of reinforcement and the amount of the reinforcement materials? Will more materials result in stronger sand? How will the strength of the materials help? The stronger the better?” After a discussion with student, the facilitator introduces the focus of this session:” Now we will think about where we want to place the materials. Where do we place the materials to get the most strength?”


Placement of Reinforcement Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry 40 minutes

Students will experiment with the placement of the materials, top, bottom, close, or far away. The facilitator reminds students “It is important that you follow the instructions on the worksheet to document your observations”. The facilitator hands out the worksheets.

The facilitator asks the guiding questions:

Will the placement of the reinforcement make a difference on the sand strength?

Where do we place the reinforcement for the strongest sand?

Directions

Case 1: Reinforcement on the bottom

Label the container 2″ from the bottom and pour the sand into the container until it reaches 2″ high

Place the wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand to fill the rest of the container.

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level

Case 2: Reinforcement in the middle

Label the container ½ way horizontally and pour the sand into the container until it is half filled.

Place the wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand to fill the rest of the container.

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level

Case 3: Reinforcement on the top

Label the container 2″ from the top of the container and pour the sand into the container until it reaches 2″ from the top.

Place the wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand to fill the rest of the container.

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level


Resources

A box per small group

Wire Meshes

Sand

Brick or Weight

The Placement of Reinforcement with Wire Mesh Worksheet

Markers


10 minute break


Whole Group Discussion 15 minutes

The facilitator leads a discussion using the following guiding questions:

What did you observe?

What did you learn from Case 1 to Case 3?

What can you conclude about how the placement of reinforcement impacts the sand strength?

How can these ideas relate back to friction and density we learned last week? (not sure about this one)

The general conclusion from this hand-on activity should be that with single layer, the placement (top, middle, down) should not make much difference.


Student Pre-Survey 20 minutes

Students fill out the pre- survey in the first session to establish the baseline data. The researchers will prepare the surveys. Teachers will collect the completed surveys and return the surveys to the researchers on site.


End of Session Reflection and Debriefing 5-10 minutes

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the problem solving process. Using the Problem Solving Process Diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.

What did I learn today?

What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?

What are some examples of how I used the problem-solving skills/processes/CT components?

How can we make sand stand tall?


Entry Event 10 minutes

The facilitator reviews the previous sections. The facilitator asks student “what have you learned about the reinforcing sand? What are some conclusions about how to add reinforcement to make sand strong? Do you remember what we did last time? Who can tell me what you have learned about the placement of the reinforcement materials? Today we will think about the placement of the reinforcement again. When we have two layers of reinforcement, where do we place the materials to get the most strength?”


Placement of Reinforcement: Two Layers Small-group Hands-on Scientific Inquiry 40 minutes

Students will experiment with the placement of the materials again, with two layers of reinforcement. The facilitator reminds students “It is important that you follow the instructions on the worksheet to document your observations”. The facilitator hands out the worksheets.

The facilitator asks the guiding questions:

Will the placement of the reinforcement make a difference on the sand strength?

Where do we place the reinforcement for the strongest sand?

Directions

Case 1: Two layers of reinforcement on the bottom

Label the container 2″ from the bottom

Pour the sand into the container until it reaches 2″ high

Place the wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Label 2″ from the sand surface

Pour the sand until it reaches 2″

Place another wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Fill the rest of the container.

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level

Case 2: Two layers of reinforcement on the top

Label the container 2″ from the top, and another label at 4″ from top.

Pour the sand into the container until it reaches 4″ from the top.

Place a wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand until it reaches 2″ from the top

Place another wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Fill the rest of the container

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level

Case 3: Two layers of reinforcement, one on the top and one on bottom

Label the container 2″ from the top, and 2” from bottom.

Pour the sand into the container until it reaches 2″ from the bottom.

Place a wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand until it reaches 2″ from the top

Place another wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Fill the rest of the container

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the sand

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level

Case 4: Two layers of reinforcement place of your choice

Label the container ( )″ from the bottom and ( )″ from the top.

Pour the sand into the container until it reaches ( )″ high

Place the wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Pour the sand until it reaches ( )″ from the top

Place another wire mesh on the surface of the sand

Fill the rest of the container

Guess and document the sand level when putting the weight on the san

Put the weight on the sand

Observe and document the sand level


Resources

A box per small group

Wire Meshes

Sand

Brick or Weight

The Placement of Reinforcement with Wire Mesh Worksheet

Markers


10 minute break


Whole Group Discussion 15 minutes

The facilitator leads a discussion using the following guiding questions:

What did you observe from Case 1 to Case 3?

What did you learn from Case 1 to Case 3?

What did you do for Case 4? Why? What did you find out?

How can these ideas relate back to friction and density we learned last week? (not sure about this one)

What can you conclude about how the placement of reinforcement impacts the sand strength? 

The general conclusion from this hand-on activity should be that with single layer, the placement (top, middle, down) should not make much difference.


End of Session Reflection and Debriefing 5-10 minutes

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the problem solving process. Using the Problem Solving Process Diagram, the teacher will ask students to identify what kind of problem solving skills/process/computational thinking they used in this session and explain how they used it. The following are some sample questions that can guide the debrief.

What did I learn today?

What problem solving skills/processes or CT components in this diagram did I use today?

What are some examples of how I used the problem-solving skills/processes/CT components?

Session 1

Problem Solving Process Diagram

The Placement of Reinforcement with Wire Mesh Worksheet

A box per small group

Wire Meshes

Sand

Brick or Weight

Markers

Session 2