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 7


Session 1
Questions

What are the positive/negative aspects of using plastic sticks as reinforcement materials?


Activities

Student Group Research

Student Experiments


Resources

Problem Solving Process diagram

Wire Mesh Worksheet


Outcomes

Learners will test how to best use wire mesh in reinforcing soil.

Session 2
Questions

What are the positive and negative aspects of using cloth items as reinforcement materials?


Activities

Student Group Research

Student Experiments


Resources

Problem Solving Process Diagram

Paper Worksheet


Outcomes

Learners will test how to best use paper in reinforcing soil.

How can we make sand stand tall?


Entry Event 10 minutes

The competition is getting even closer! In this session, students will gather in their small groups and design a team logo. The facilitator will allow the students several minutes to work on drawing a team flag to be displayed in the room. The facilitator should assure the students that they will have a chance to work on these in the next session, so they can take their time. Students should be encouraged to work as a team to design, sketch, and color together.


Student Group Research 25 minutes

Once split into their groups, students should review the design challenge details and the rules of the competition. Each group should make sure that all members of their team understand what has to be accomplished and the rules of the competition. If unsure ask a Boise State staff member to explain.

Note: Students will have the opportunity to mix-and-match materials in a future session, but today’s session will focus exclusively on the plastic stick.

During this phase, it is up to each team to look at the resources available – in this session, wire mesh – and to plan how best they can be used to complete tasks within the time available. Good planning is the key to any successful project. Every person on the team has a valid contribution to make and every idea should be evaluated on its merits. Students should occasionally check with the job specifications to make sure their ideas are aligned with the learning targets.

Students may use the wire mesh worksheet, large butcher paper, or their own journals to take notes, sketch ideas, write down observations, etc.

Table 1 Price list for reinforcement materials
Reinforcement Type Unit Cost per Unit
Plastic Sticks 12" Long $2
Cloth 1 Sq. Feet $5
Wire Mesh 1 Sq. Feet $10
Paper 1 Sq. Feet $1

Resources

Paper

Wire Mesh worksheet

Markers

Pencils

Box

5kg Weight

Sand


10 minute break


Student Experiments 35 minutes

Students will take their initial plans and experiment with the wire mesh as a reinforcement for the soil. Each group will work together to test different amounts, positions, and layers of wire mesh. While constructing, students should not forget to compact the soil. If you do not compact, the reinforcement effects are minimal. Students should be encouraged to continue testing different methods. Students will want to take good notes on what worked during their experimentation - and what didn’t. Students should also take notes on the costs associated with their build for future comparison. Students should be sure to make note of what worked best and how much it cost for future comparisons/considerations.


End of Session Reflection and Debriefing 5-10 minutes will be recorded

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. 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 worked well?

What didn't work well?

What can I/we do differently next time?

Do you have anything more to share?

How can we make sand stand tall?


Entry Event 10 minutes

Students will continue working on their team flag. The facilitator will allow the students time to continue working on their designs from previous session. Students should be encouraged to work as a team to design, sketch, and color together. Once their designs are completed, the facilitator will collect the pieces so that they can be shared during the competition. Again, the goal of this session is to create team cohesiveness and excitement for the upcoming competition.


Student Group Research 25 minutes

Once split into their groups, students should review the design challenge details and the rules of the competition. Each group should make sure that all members of their team understand what has to be accomplished and the rules of the competition. If unsure ask a Boise State staff member to explain.

Note: Students will have the opportunity to mix-and-match materials in a future session, but today’s session will focus exclusively on the plastic stick.

During this phase, it is up to each team to look at the resources available – in this session, plastic sticks – and to plan how best they can be used to complete tasks within the time available. Good planning is the key to any successful project. Every person on the team has a valid contribution to make and every idea should be evaluated on its merits. Students should occasionally check with the job specifications to make sure their ideas are aligned with the learning targets.

Students may use the paper worksheet, large butcher paper, or their own journals to take notes, sketch ideas, write down observations, etc.

Table 1 Price list for reinforcement materials
Reinforcement Type Unit Cost per Unit
Plastic Sticks 12" Long $2
Cloth 1 Sq. Feet $5
Wire Mesh 1 Sq. Feet $10
Paper 1 Sq. Feet $1

Resources

Paper

Paper worksheet

Markers

Pencils

Flag Designs

Box

5kg Weight

Sand


10 minute break


Student Experiments 35 minutes

Students will take their initial plans and experiment with the paper as a reinforcement for the soil. Each group will work together to test different amounts, positions, and layers of paper. While constructing, students should not forget to compact the soil. If you do not compact, the reinforcement effects are minimal. Students should be encouraged to continue testing different methods. Students will want to take good notes on what worked during their experimentation - and what didn’t. Students should also take notes on the costs associated with their build for future comparison. Students should be sure to make note of what worked best and how much it cost for future comparisons/considerations.


End of Session Reflection and Debriefing 5-10 minutes will be recorded

Teacher briefly explains the computational thinking (CT) skill embedded in the Problem Solving Process Diagram. 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 worked well?

What didn't work well?

What can I/we do differently next time?

Do you have anything more to share?

Session 1

Problem Solving Process Diagram

Wire Mesh Worksheet

Paper

Markers

Pencils

Box

5kg Weight

Sand

Session 2

Problem Solving Process Diagram

Paper Items Worksheet

Paper

Markers

Pencils

Flag Designs

Box

5kg Weight

Sand