Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Introduction and Review:
Introduce the project by telling students that they have won a special contest to design and build their very own Dream House! How exciting, and congratulations!
The contest rules dictate that we must present our plans and calculations to the committee for approval before they will begin to build.
They have some requirements they need from us before we are allowed to proceed.
- We need to determine the geometric shapes in each room.
- We need to determine the size of our house and calculate the square footage of each room and the total size.
- We must decide on the flooring we would like to use in each room on the first floor and calculate the cost.
- We must use 100% renewable energy in our house. To do this, we must look at where we would like to build our house and the type(s) of renewable resource(s) that will be best for that area.
We will be using our math, science, and engineering design skills to complete this project.
Let's start with the math. The teacher should display different geometric shapes that might be used in the designs. As the teacher displays these shapes, the students will identify the names of the shapes, as well as their defining attributes (e.g., a rectangle is a quadrilateral with four right angles).
Next, the teacher will ask the students to describe how to calculate the area of each shape. The teacher will assist students by reviewing the concept of area and guiding students to decompose composite shapes (e.g., parallelograms, trapezoids, and regular polygons) into shapes with areas can be calculated (e.g., rectangles, triangles, and circles).
Students can record notes in their notebooks on how to calculate the area of various shapes.
Next, students need to know the types of alternative fuels that could be used in building a house. There are several links included in the student handout. The teacher may decide to share the information together as a class or to save the information as background research for students to use in their independent and group practice time. The teacher could introduce how students can access the information here.
After reviewing the main parts of the lesson, move into the engineering design process. Explain to students that it is similar to the scientific process they use when conducting experiments. It is an organized process with careful steps and measurements, and at the end there is an analysis of the results. The difference is that engineering goes back after the initial tests to modify and test again.
The Engineering Process:
The teacher will display the Engineering Process (see below) and review each step emphasizing that these steps must be followed during this project. This process will be explained to the students, and the students will use this process as they create their design:
1. Ask questions that will help you achieve your goal. (This is the step in the lesson where the lesson objective and goals are read aloud by the teacher, followed by guided questions).
2. Imagine at least two possibilities for your design. Brainstorm ideas and solutions. (This is the part where the teacher gives the students an opportunity to think about a dream house, what it would look like, and what kind of rooms will it have. The students are also asked about what types of geometric shapes they would use in their dream house as well as the location of their house in order to determine the energy source that will be added.
3. Plan the design before building. Combine ideas to create a rough draft of a design. This will be a free-hand design drawing. Students can share their rough drafts. (The teacher should distribute the Dream House project student worksheet and review the introduction and each part.) The teacher will introduce the materials: computer, pencil, calculator, ruler, protractor, and grid paper. The teacher will remind them of the task at hand and answer any questions at this time. The teacher will circulate around the classroom to make sure students are ready.
4. Create by beginning Part 1 of the Dream House project student worksheet. Students will design their floor plan using the prescribed geometric shapes, elements, and expectations on the Dream House project student worksheet. Once completed, students will need the teacher's approval to move to the next part of the project.
Part 2 of the Dream House project is to apply at least two different types of flooring. The teacher will model this part to make sure students understand the expectation. The teacher will inform the students that they can refer to a formula reference sheet found in any math textbook. There are no cost constraints because this is each student's Dream House.
Students will also be deciding on the energy generator type(s) based on the location of their house. They might need to ask questions, discuss, and read more research to make their decision.
5. Improve by testing it. This is where students will pause and double-check their measurements and calculations. Then students will trade their designs with another team. The teams will perform another check of measurements, calculations, and energy type. Also, student teams are encouraged to write helpful comments, suggestions, and feedback on designs. The teacher will model this expectation to make sure that students understand that this process is for improvement and to encourage others. The teacher will circulate around the room to ensure that students are on task and understand the expectation.
The teacher will distribute the Dream House Project student worksheet (see attachment) and explain each step of the project. The teacher will assign the students to groups, distribute any needed supplies, and ask students to begin.
Note that there are three parts to the project and students may not proceed to a subsequent part without gaining teacher approval. The teacher should circulate through the room, providing assistance, feedback, and approval.
Students should continue to work on the project as time permits. Depending on the length of a class period, students may not be able to finish. The teacher can assign completion of Parts 3 and 4 for the following day.