Engage: What object, event, or questions will the teacher use to trigger the students' curiosity and engage them in the concepts?
1. Write the word "energy" on the board or on chart paper. Ask students if they know what this word means. Provide think time and have students write what energy means to them on a sticky note. Allow students to talk with a partner to come up with a definition of energy. Have pairs share out their definition. Provide the following definition: Energy is the ability to cause motion or create a change.
2. Say, "You will write different things that move due to energy on your sticky notes." Give students time to respond. Place students in small groups. Say, "Using your sticky notes, discuss different forms of energy within your group."
3. Add a blank tree map (without the subheadings, like as in the attached example) to the chart paper. Have each student share what is on their sticky note, then place the sticky notes on the tree map, sorting them by the forms of energy without sharing the reason for the sort with the students. When students start to inquire about why you are placing items under blank categories, ask, "What do the items in each category have in common?" The students will identify the reasons that they were categorized and create each subheading themselves (forms of energy). Discuss the tree map as a whole group.
4. Tell students that they will be exploring wind energy. Give the Pre-Test (attached).
5. Display the images attached for the Engage attachment. Show the students the first picture of a person windsurfing. Ask them if wind or water is moving the person. Have them discuss this in groups. Remind students that moving wind and water are both sources of energy and discuss if the two types of energy can be combined to create a greater power of energy. Then, have students look at several different examples of vessels that use wind energy and engage in a class discussion examining the similarities and differences in each vessel.
6. Provide students with copies of the Design Challenge Worksheets (attached). Introduce the goal of the design challenge: "You are mechanical engineers who have been asked to design a vessel that will carry passengers safely and quickly across Tampa Bay by harnessing wind energy."
- Ask: What do you need to know in order to reach the goal? Pause and take questions. Possible questions may include:
- What kind of materials will we have?
- How much time do we have?
- How big does our vessel have to be?
- How far will our vessel have to travel?
- How are we going to test it?
7. Then, discuss the criteria and constraints students must follow.
- Criteria: You need to move the vessel safely, but quickly, across the water. The passengers are going to work and are running late.
- Constraints: (What must be included)
- Your boat must float and not take on water.
- Your boat must be between 7-9 inches on all sides.
- The boat must have sides so passengers do not fall off.
- Your boat must be able to carry 20 passengers (represented by pennies).
- You will have 15 minutes to design your vessel.