ERIC Number: EJ1204651
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Feb
A Water Wheel Challenge!
Jurkiewicz, Melissa A.; Kirn, Adam; Crowther, David
Science and Children, v56 n6 p46-51 Feb 2019
Interactions with forces and energy can range from a toddler dropping toys repeatedly for someone else to pick up to a group of fifth graders playing soccer at recess. In addition, students may have observed the power of water to move physical objects by seeing news footage of rising floodwaters, experimenting with a garden hose, or spending a day at the beach. Teachers can leverage these informal life experiences to create formal inquiries for students and make connections to the concepts of contact forces, energy transfer, and the conservation of energy. A "Framework for K-12 Science Education" (NRC 2012) and the resulting "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") (NGSS Lead States 2013) have captured big ideas of science and engineering in the crosscutting concepts (CCC). Energy and matter is one of these central themes in science and engineering education. This three-hour lesson (which fits within the 3-5 grade "NGSS" ETS standard) allows students to explore the conversion between stored and motion energy while working in a team to design and build an interactive water wheel that lifts the most weight. The learning objectives associated with this lesson are: (1) Students will design, build, and refine prototypes to explore the conversion between stored and motion energy; (2) Students will collect qualitative and quantitative data to make claims about the effectiveness of their water wheel designs; (3) Students will engage in the engineering design process to solve the design challenge; and (4) Students will use mathematics to compute the cost of materials while keeping a running budget of initial cost compared to final cost after final iteration. Additionally, students will compare initial height of washers raised to final height of washers raised in centimeters while at the same time calculating the mass of the washers lifted while building and improving the water wheel.
Descriptors: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Water, Elementary School Students, Hands on Science, Elementary School Science, Scientific Concepts, Teaching Methods, Energy, Engineering Education, Units of Study, Group Activities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A