“Grand Challenges for Engineering” Focus: Personalized Learning GK-12 Project By Christina H. Foster Purpose: To increase interest in engineering among middle school students. To introduce sixth grade students to five Grand Challenges for 21st century’s engineers through inquiry based lessons. To challenge the sixth grade students to develop their own science and engineering questions. To challenge the sixth grade students to complete a science and engineering project that builds upon a Grand Challenge that most interests them and investigates a science and engineering question they have developed. Expected Outcomes: To bring engineering to the sixth grade science classroom in a meaningful way. To promote the concept of engineering design and problem solving while addressing the National Science Education Standards. Grade Level Sixth Grade. Standards Strand 1, Concepts 1 - 4 Strand 2, Concept 1 - 2 Strand 3, Concepts 1 -2 Strand 4, Concept 3 Strand 5, Concept 2 - 3 In the middle school years, students’ work with scientific investigations can be complimented by activities that are meant to meet a human need, solve a human problem, or develop a product… NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS The understanding of technology can be developed by tasks which students have to design something and also by studying technological products and systems. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS Lesson Overview 1. Introduce expectations to complete a science and engineering project. 2. Introduce purpose and importance of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering. 3. Grand Challenge: Carbon Sequestration 4. Grand Challenge: Provide Energy from Fusion 5. Grand Challenge: Make Solar Energy Economical 6. Grand Challenge: Provide Access to Clean Water 7. Grand Challenge: Manage the Nitrogen Cycle Lesson Details Notes: Each Grand Challenge was addressed during a separate week. The students were asked to rank their interest for each individual Grand Challenge at the end of each week. The interest sheets were used to guide the students in identifying science and engineering project ideas that best fit their personal interests. Within the Grand Challenge weeks, the days were divided based upon what worked best for our fifty-minute classes at Navajo Elementary School. The activities can be re-structured according to convenience and time availability. Grand Challenge: Carbon Sequestration I. Day 1 a. Introduction to Carbon Sequestration (“Develop Carbon Sequestration Methods” PowerPoint) b. PBS Video: Arizona 8th-grader's science project prompts her scientist dad to develop a new way to pull excess CO2 out of the atmosphere. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/capturing-carbon.html) c. Carbon Sequestration Images and Discussion (http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/8996/9077.aspx) Learning Objectives: 1. Fossil fuels are made of hydrocarbons and currently provide 85% of the worlds’ energy. 2. Huge quantities of carbon dioxide are released when energy in the form of fossil fuel is burned. II. Day 2 a. Carbon Cycle Skit (Student Re-Enactment from Dr. Art Does Science) b. Animated Video by the Earth Institute on Carbon Capture and Sequestration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dm1esCpzR0) c. Interactive Discussion using the PBS Online Model of Carbon Sequestration (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/carbon-sink.html) Learning Objectives: 1. Earth is a closed system for matter. The same matter (including CO2) keeps going round and round! 2. Earth is an open system for energy. Energy flows through Earth! 3. The existence of humans does not negatively affect the carbon cycle. However, drilling for fossil fuels and then burning them for energy adds more carbon into the atmosphere. III. Day 3 a. Students design and build a “heat-trapping device” to model how carbon dioxide holds heat i. Instructions: 1. You must draw your design. 2. Your group must use the materials on the table. 3. Your design must be able to hold a cup of soil. ii. Supplies provided to the students: 1. Paper (construction) 2. Tape (electrical, duct, scotch, masking) 3. Straws (bendable) 4. Rubber bands 5. Napkins 6. Cups 7. Hangers (wire) 8. Popsicle sticks 9. Pipe cleaners 10. Paper clips 11. Wax paper 12. Aluminum foil 13. Plastic bags Learning Objectives: 1. Carbon dioxide has heat-trapping power and causes increases in global temperature. IV. Day 4 a. Students test their “heat-trapping devices” i. Instructions 1. The students were given a cup of soil to insert into their heat-trapping device. 2. The students were also given a thermometer to insert into their cup of soil. 3. Each student group recorded the temperature of the soil in the classroom. 4. The students then went outside and put their devices (containing the cup with soil) into the sun. The student groups measured the temperature after three minutes in the sun and then took an additional measurement about a total of six minutes in the sun. 5. The students then returned inside and measured the temperature of the soil after the three minutes indoors and then after an additional three minutes indoors. 6. The students charted their data and discussed the effectiveness of their designs. 7. The students discussed what changes, if any, they would make to their designs to trap heat more effectively. Provide Energy from Fusion I. Day 1 a. Introduction to Grand Challenge to Provide Energy from Fusion (“Provide Energy from Fusion_Lesson 1” PowerPoint) b. Discovery Channel video to explain fusion in the sun and nuclear fusion on Earth. c. Overview of main points about the video and fusion d. Discussion on the Tokomak using the website: http://www.iter.org/ Learning Objectives: 1. Fusion is the energy source of the universe. 2. Fusion occurs in the core of the sun and stars. II. Day 2 a. Energy Word Splash b. Potential and Kinetic Energy c. MRS CHEN Matching Game *Guide for Day 2: “Provide Energy from Fusion_Lesson 2” PowerPoint Learning Objectives: 1. There are different forms of energy. 2. Energy can change forms. III. Day 3 a. Energy Detective (Slide 9 from PowerPoint “Provide Energy from Fusion_Lesson 2”) Activity Source: R.E.A.C.T. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/gen/fy01/30927.pdf b. Discussion Questions (Slide 10 from PowerPoint “Provide Energy from Fusion_Lesson 2”) Learning Objectives: 1. Energy is around us everyday. You can feel, see, and hear energy. Make Solar Energy Economical I. Day 1 a. Overview of renewable energy b. Discovery Channel video on renewable energy and specifically solar energy c. Renew-A-Bean activity from R.E.A.C.T Learning Objectives: 1. Nonrenewable resources will eventually deplete. We must conserve nonrenewable resources and develop methods to use renewable resources. II. Day 2 a. “Make Solar Energy Economical“ PowerPoint Learning Objectives: 1. Solar energy is by far the Earth's most available energy source. 2. Solar energy is an intermittent energy source, meaning that it is not available at all times. However, it can be supplemented by thermal energy storage or another energy source, such as natural gas or hydropower. III. Day 3 a. Guest speaker – Solar Panel Technology Learning Objectives: 1. Solar panels work using current, light as energy, and converting light energy to electricity. IV. Day 4 a. Design and build portable solar water heaters i. Instructions: 1. The design must have a place for cold water to enter, a place for hot water to exit, and the design must heat the water while containing it. ii. Supplies provided to the students: 1. Wire hangers 2. Aluminum foil & Wax paper 3. Liter soda bottles 4. Coffee containers (plastic) 5. Popsicle sticks 6. Bendable straws 7. Cardboard 8. Plastic bags 9. Tape Learning Objectives: 1. Solar water heaters can be used as a cost effective way to heat water for your home. Provide Access to Clean Water I. Day 1 a. “Provide Access to Clean Water” PowerPoint b. Design and build a water filter that will attach to the solar water heater. i. Instructions: 1. Dirty water must enter the device. 2. The water must travel through the water filter and solar water heater. 3. Clean, heated water must exit the device. ii. Supplies provided to students: 1. Batting 2. Coffee filters 3. Beans 4. Cotton Learning Objectives: 1. Lack of clean water is responsible for more deaths in the world than war! II. Day 2 a. Students test their water filter and solar water heaters. i. The students poured a liter of dirty water through their device. ii. The students recorded results on whether the water traveled through the filter and solar water heater, the cleanliness of the outputted water compared to the input, and the temperature of the outputted water. Manage the Nitrogen Cycle I. Day 1 a. Introduction to the nitrogen cycle i. Draw your own fish tank. ii. Class discussion on ways to keep their fish and other creatures alive and reasons why their fish and other creatures would die. b. “Nitrogen Cycle” PowerPoint Learning Objectives: 1. An active fish tank is an example of the nitrogen cycle. II. Day 2 a. Traveling nitrogen cycle game by Windows to the Universe. http://www.windows2universe.org/teacher_resources/teach_nitrogen.html Learning Objectives: 1. Nitrogen can take many different forms.
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