Students analyze the relationship between wheel radius, linear velocity and angular velocity …

Students analyze the relationship between wheel radius, linear velocity and angular velocity by using LEGO(TM) MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots. Given various robots with different wheel sizes and fixed motor speeds, they predict which has the fastest linear velocity. Then student teams collect and graph data to analyze the relationships between wheel size and linear velocity and find the angular velocity of the robot given its motor speed. Students explore other ways to increase linear velocity by changing motor speeds, and discuss and evaluate the optimal wheel size and desired linear velocities on vehicles.

This lesson teaches the engineering method for testing wherein one variable is …

This lesson teaches the engineering method for testing wherein one variable is changed while the others are held constant. Students compare the performance of a single paper airplane design while changing the shape, size and position of flaps on the airplane. Students also learn about control surfaces on the tail and wings of an airplane.

In this lesson, students are introduced to audio engineers. They discover in …

In this lesson, students are introduced to audio engineers. They discover in what type of an environment audio engineers work and exactly what they do on a day-to-day basis. Students come to realize that audio engineers help produce their favorite music and movies.

Students visualize and interact with concepts already learned, specifically algebraic equations and …

Students visualize and interact with concepts already learned, specifically algebraic equations and solving for unknown variables. They construct a balancing seesaw system (LEGO® Balance Scale) made from LEGO MINDSTORMS® parts and digital components to mimic a balancing scale. They are given example algebraic equation problems to analyze, configure onto the balance scale, and evaluate by manipulating LEGO pieces and gram masses that represent terms of an equation such as unknown variables, coefficients and integers. Digital light sensors, built into the LEGO Balance Scale, detect any balance or imbalances displayed on the balancing scale. The LEGO Balance Scale interactively issues a digital indication of balance or imbalance within the system. If unbalanced, students continue using the LEGO Balance Scale until they are confident in their understanding of solving algebraic equations. The goal is for students to become confident in solving algebraic equations by fundamentally understanding the basics of algebra and real-world algebraic applications.

The purpose of this activity is to bring together the students' knowledge …

The purpose of this activity is to bring together the students' knowledge of engineering and airplanes and the creation of a glider model to determine how each modification affects the flight. The students will use a design procedure whereby one variable is changed and all the others are kept constant.

Students use the scientific method to determine the effect of control surfaces …

Students use the scientific method to determine the effect of control surfaces on a paper glider. They construct paper airplanes (model gliders) and test their performance to determine the base characteristics of the planes. Then they change one of the control surfaces and compare the results to their base glider in order to determine the cause and effect relationship of the control surfaces.

Students learn how the aerodynamics and rolling resistance of a car affect …

Students learn how the aerodynamics and rolling resistance of a car affect its energy efficiency through designing and constructing model cars out of simple materials. As the little cars are raced down a tilted track (powered by gravity) and propelled off a ramp, students come to understand the need to maximize the energy efficiency of their cars. The most energy-efficient cars roll down the track the fastest and the most aerodynamic cars jump the farthest. Students also work with variables and plot how a car's speed changes with the track angle.

The purpose of this lesson is to explore solving equations involving addition …

The purpose of this lesson is to explore solving equations involving addition and subtraction.

Included is a YouTube video to support Grade 5 Blended Learning Math - Unit 1.6: Patterns and Equations - Solving Equations Involving Addition and Subtraction.

In the first part of the activity, each student chews a piece …

In the first part of the activity, each student chews a piece of gum until it loses its sweetness, and then leaves the gum to dry for several days before weighing it to determine the amount of mass lost. This mass corresponds to the amount of sugar in the gum, and can be compared to the amount stated on the package label. In the second part of the activity, students work in groups to design and conduct new experiments based on questions of their own choosing. These questions arise naturally from observations during the first experiment, and from students' own experiences with and knowledge of the many varieties of chewing and bubble gums available.

Using the LEGO® NXT robotics kit, students construct and program robots to …

Using the LEGO® NXT robotics kit, students construct and program robots to illustrate and explore the Fibonacci sequence. Within teams, students are assigned roles: group leader, chassis builder, arm builder, chief programmer, and Fibonacci verifier. By designing a robot that moves based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, they can better visualize how quickly the numbers in the sequence grow. To program the robot to move according to these numbers, students break down the sequence into simple algebraic equations so that the computer can understand the Fibonacci sequence.

Use this activity to explore forces acting on objects, practice graphing experimental …

Use this activity to explore forces acting on objects, practice graphing experimental data, and introduce the algebra concepts of slope and intercept of a line. A wooden 2 x 4 beam is set on top of two scales. Students learn how to conduct an experiment by applying loads at different locations along the beam, recording the exact position of the applied load and the reaction forces measured by the scales at each end of the beam. In addition, students analyze the experiment data with the use of a chart and a table, and model/graph linear equations to describe relationships between independent and dependent variables.

Students explore the use of wind power in the design, construction and …

Students explore the use of wind power in the design, construction and testing of "sail cars," which, in this case, are little wheeled carts with masts and sails that are powered by the moving air generated from a box fan. The scientific method is reviewed and reinforced with the use of controls and variables, and the engineering design process is explored. The focus of the activity is on renewable energy, as well as the design, testing and redesign of small cars made from household materials. The activity (and an extension worksheet) includes the use of kinematic equations using distance, time traveled and speed to enforce exponents and decimals.

In this lesson and its associated activity, students conduct a simple test …

In this lesson and its associated activity, students conduct a simple test to determine how many drops of each of three liquids can be placed on a penny before spilling over. The three liquids are water, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable oil; because of their different surface tensions, more water can be piled on top of a penny than either of the other two liquids. However, this is not the main point of the activity. Instead, students are asked to come up with an explanation for their observations about the different amounts of liquids a penny can hold. In other words, they are asked to make hypotheses that explain their observations, and because middle school students are not likely to have prior knowledge of the property of surface tension, their hypotheses are not likely to include this idea. Then they are asked to come up with ways to test their hypotheses, although they do not need to actually test their hypotheses. The important points for students to realize are that 1) the tests they devise must fit their hypotheses, and 2) the hypotheses they come up with must be testable in order to be useful.

Most of the flavoring in gum is due to the sugar or …

Most of the flavoring in gum is due to the sugar or other sweetener it contains. As gum is chewed, the sugar dissolves and is swallowed. After a piece of gum loses its flavor, it can be left to dry at room temperature and then the difference between its initial (unchewed) mass and its chewed mass can be used to calculate the percentage of sugar in the gum. This demonstration experiment is used to generate new questions about gums and their ingredients, and students can then design and execute new experiments based on their own questions.

Students design, build and test model race cars made from simple materials …

Students design, build and test model race cars made from simple materials (lifesaver-shaped candies, plastic drinking straws, Popsicle sticks, index cards, tape) as a way to explore independent, dependent and control variables. They measure the changes in distance travelled with the addition of mass to the vehicles. Students also practice the steps of the engineering design process by brainstorming, planning, building, testing, and improving their "mint-mobiles."

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