Unit Overview

Real world problem: You and your friends want to send messages to each other across a long distance (a soccer field, a lake, etc) during the day. It’s too bright outside to see each other’s flashlights. How could you communicate to each other using objects from your surroundings?

Educational outcomes

  • Students are able to articulate ideas on how they could communicate with their friends across long distances.
  • Students are able to organize, represent, and interpret data between the categories of pitch and loudness.
  • Students can plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound.
  • Students can plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that sound can cause materials to vibrate.

STEAM INTEGRATION

For the design challenge at the end of this unit, students will be asked to create devices that allow them to communicate using sounds rather than speech. To prepare for the challenge, students will be learning how different sounds can be created by various vibrating materials. They will learn that sound pitch and volume can change depending on the size of vibrating object. To learn these concepts, students will conduct tests on various objects in their school and home environment and classify these objects by pitch and loudness.

Unit Materials

This unit can be completed using RAFT’s Makerspace-in-a-box kit 
or a variety of reusable materials such as:

Design Thinking Overview

Our design thinking units have five phases based on the d.school’s model. Each phase can be repeated to allow students to re-work and iterate while developing deeper understanding of the core concepts. These are the five phases of the design thinking model:

EMPATHIZE: Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing.  Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.

DEFINE: Process and synthesize the findings from your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.

IDEATE: Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.

PROTOTYPE: Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.

TEST: Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view.

The Design Thinking Process | ReDesigning Theater. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2016, from http://dschool.stanford.edu/redesigningtheater/the-design-thinking-process/

STEAM Integrated Standards

NGSS – 1-PS4-1: Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate. [Clarification Statement: Examples of vibrating materials that make sound could include tuning forks and plucking a stretched string. Examples of how sound can make matter vibrate could include holding a piece of paper near a speaker making sound and holding an object near a vibrating tuning fork.]

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.C.4:Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Suggestions for pacing and differentiation

Suggestions for pacing:

  • The introductory lesson could be dropped if needed. It acts as a primer for the following lessons but is not required.
  • Communication with sound could be dropped if needed. It allows students to practice sending messages through sound however it is not required to complete educational outcomes.

Suggestions for differentiation:

  • If available, take a speaker and play music next to the basin of water. How does the water react? If a speaker is not available, have students watch this video. Have students draw their observations.
  • If available, place cardboard over a speaker and cover the cardboard with a thin layer of sand. Play a sustained sound through the speaker and look at the patterns the sand creates. Change the pitch of the sound and notice how the pattern in the sand changes. Play music and watch the sand dance around. Have students draw their observations.
  • As an alternative to sand, consider using chalk. Chalk may help visualize the vibration patterns by leaving a mark after it has been brushed off the drum. Consider using black construction paper or black cloth between the drum and chalk to improve contrast.

Project: Have students make a drum using materials readily available to them. This can be an arts and craft project if desired. An example drum creating project can be found here. Next, have students sprinkle sand over the top of their drum and have them hit the drum from the underside several times. Does the sand form particular patterns? Have students draw their observations.

Lesson 1: Empathy: Empathy: History of Communication (30 minutes)

Lesson Overview

To prepare students to understand the learning objective, we’ll teach them about the real world uses of Morse code.

Essential Questions:

  • What are some different ways people can communicate with each other?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

Student Direction

Sample teacher and student dialog

T: Start a discussion with students on forms of communication. “What are some ways we can communicate with each other? For example, I’m communicating to you by talking to you right now. I also write notes to you on your homework. What are some ways you communicate?”

S: Students may suggest the following methods of communication. Encourage creativity:

  • Talking
  • Sign language
  • Flashing a light on and off
  • Hitting an object
  • Binary numbers
  • Calling them on the phone.
  • Using Skype or a similar service.

T: Encourage students to critically think about the suggestions made by the class. “What is your favourite way of communicating? Why is it your favourite?”

S: Student’s provide their input and thoughts.

T: “What way of communicating do you not like? Why don’t you like communicating that way?”

S: Student’s provide their input and thoughts.

T: “Have you ever tried telling someone something who was standing really far away from you? Like on the other side of a soccer field? Did you have to yell? Could they understand you?”

S: Student’s provide their input and thoughts.

T: “This has been a problem for a thousands of years. How do you send messages to people really far away? Cell phones and the internet are new things.” Teacher reads and discusses history of communication document.

T: Have students form groups. “I’d like you to spend the next few minutes looking around the classroom with your group for things you can use to communicate with each other without talking to each other. For example, I found this tennis ball and a pencil. When I hold the tennis ball over my head, it means yes. When I hold the pencil over my head, it means no. Could someone ask me a question that only needs a yes or no answer?”

S: Students ask a few questions that elicit yes or no answer.

T: Teacher communicates by holding appropriate object over his/her head.

i-have-a-ball

 

Lesson Materials

Other

  • Pictures to illustrate the use of different communication techniques through history.

Media

Learning Targets

Students are able to articulate ideas on how they could communicate with their friends across long distances.

Lesson 2: Define: How do you make sound? (30 minutes)

Lesson Overview

This lesson will give students a chance to notice objects within their space that can be used to make sound.

Essential Questions:

  • What do you have to do to make sound?
  • Does an object make sound if nothing is moving?
  • What objects make loud/quiet sounds?
  • What objects have high/low pitches?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Make available a variety of objects that can be used to make sounds.
  • Be prepared to assign groups in class.

loud-vs-quiet-sounds

Student Direction

T: Ask students to identify objects that make sound. “Can anyone tell me the name of an object that makes sound?”

S: Students present ideas. Allow students to be creative.

T: “Those are great suggestions. Do you notice any common themes or traits between those objects? What do you have to do to the objects to get them to make sound? Does an object make sound when it moves?

S: Students provide input.

T: Have students pick objects in the classroom that they could make sounds with. Let them try making sounds with the object. “I’d like each of you to try and find an object in the classroom that makes a loud sound. Be sure to try several objects. I’d like you to answer the following questions in your Maker Journal. What do you need to do to get the object to make a sound? Is the sound loud or soft? Is the sound high pitch or low pitch?”

S: Students go off and explore the different sounds various objects can make. Some examples of possible objects that could be used to make sound include: hand clapping, undersides of desks, wastebaskets, buckets, tin cans.

T: “I’d like us to make two piles in the center of the classroom. One pile will have objects that only make loud sounds. The other pile will have objects that only make quiet sounds. Be sure to add a few of the objects in each pile to your Maker Journal.”

S: Students separate objects into two piles.

T: Have students recategorize objects into 2 piles, one based off high-pitch, and one based off low-pitch. Next, Have students select a few objects of their choice and as a class go to a large open area such as a gym or field.

S: Students participate in activities.

T: Bring the class back together as one group. “Which objects could you hear really well from the other side of the field? Which object couldn’t you hear?”

S: Allow students to articulate thoughts.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student groups review their makerspace journal and summarize their learning in a group discussion.  What was a useful measuring tool, and why?

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss and compare their findings and share different methods for measuring their classroom. What was a useful measuring tool, what was unhelpful, and why?  Students should also share the difficulties that they discovered in measuring the furniture and space.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual groups as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings around different measuring tools.

 

Lesson Materials

Writing Materials

  • Recording sheets from Maker Journal Pages links
  • Pencils

Maker Journal Pages

DOWNLOAD STUDENT PAGE

Teacher Notes

  • Consider what furniture and features you want students to measure in the classroom.  This could be the list of items you feel comfortable rearranging.  Are there any immobile items (furniture attached to the wall) that students should be aware of?
  • Consider grouping for this lesson.  Students can work to measure in pairs, small groups, or individually depending on their needs.

Active Classroom

Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Help students become successful and care for the success of others by asking them to predict problems that might arise in the active environment and ask them to suggest strategies for their own behavior that will ensure a positive working environment for all students and teachers.

Consider for this lesson guidelines for students’ movement.  What are the safe strategies to reach high pieces of furniture, and what should be avoided?

Learning Targets

Students will be able to measure in non-standard units

 

Lesson 3: Define: What is sound? Exploration with strings. (30 minutes)

Lesson Overview

This lesson will give students a chance to compare the lengths and widths or objects against other objects. (K.MD.A.2)

Essential Questions:

  • How do you know if something has more or less width or height when compared to another object?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

This lesson begins with a teacher led discussion and exploration, and then moves into a small group activity.

Student Direction

Sample teacher and student dialog

T: Pose some questions regarding more/less to get students thinking.  “Do we have more markers, or scissors in our class? What is the tallest piece of furniture in our room?  Who is our tallest classmate?”

S: More markers, the big bookshelf is taller…

T: “Let’s practice.  Look at the writing tools in our class.  (pencil, crayon, marker, colored pencil, etc.) Let’s arrange these by height.  Which tool has more height than the others?  Which has less?”

S: Several students demonstrate arranging writing tools by height.

T: “Now let’s arrange these by width.  What do I mean when I say width?

S: Students offer definition of width, and rearrange the writing tools.

T: “Let’s practice with some books now.  Who can help use arrange these books by height?”

S: Several students arrange books by height.

T: “Which book has more height, which has less?”  Consider repeating with width or depth as time allows, or if students need more practice.


 

DOWNLOAD STUDENT PAGE

T: “You will now practice measuring things in our classroom to know what is bigger or smaller.  Find 3 things in the classroom to compare.  You will draw your objects in your Maker Journal page.” Demonstrating where to draw objects on a sample Maker Journal page. “What if you want to compare the door way and thebookshelf?  How will you know which one has more width without moving the bookshelf next to the door?”

S: Various suggestions.  Guide students towards the idea that they will need to measure both objects.

T: “You can use a measuring tool to measure how wide each object is, and then you can figure out which has more width.  For this, we will use pieces of string.  Hold one end at the edge of what you are measuring, and see how far along the string that object reaches.” Demonstrate measuring something immobile with a string.


T: “Look at your Maker Journal page.  Is the tallest object also the widest?”

S: Various answers depending on student work.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Use tools and materials to design a device that uses sound to communicate a message.
  • Explain and show sound vibrations.
  • Understand that sounds can be useful for sending messages, and identify sounds that send different types of messages.

 

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Students review their own method for using sound to communicating over a distance. Students evaluate whether their explanation clearly addresses how sound can be useful (and not so useful) communication devices.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare and explain what they feel about communicating with different sound sources.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss , compare, and reason their abilities to communicate with sound over a distance.

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box           -or-

One RAFT “Glove-a-Phone”  (click on link) to be made per student (or small balloons/latex gloves, straws, cardboard tubes of various lengths and widths), scissors, laminate samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, fishboard, cardboard tubes, plas core scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, CD’s, access to light sources (windows, flashlights, etc.), tape, glue, scissors, timer, measuring devices, etc.

Connecting Materials:

Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., masking tape rubber bands, paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, labels & stickers, etc.)

External Resources

Video: What is Sound?

Maker Journal Pages

Lesson 3 Maker Journal Page           

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  Explain the concept of “sound communication” to the class.   

 

 

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Lesson 4 Define: How Does Morse Code Communicate? (40 min)

Lesson 4 Overview

   How does Morse code communicate?

The focus on sound and light in this lesson uses a famous coding device based on symbol patterns to deliver messages over distances. Student teams will learn simple Morse code,  devise easy coded messages, and then pass them to another team to decode  (ELA/Literacy W.1.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.)

Essential Questions:

  • What is a code? What is Morse code?
  • How can we design a device that uses light or sound to send a Morse code message?
  • How can we understand the message pattern?

 LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Introduce students to sending a message by taping sounds and by flashing lights.
  • Introduce the concept of a code. Then give students a set of 10 easy symbols that could be used to send a Morse code. Students use only two or three of those symbols to convey a simple message.
  • Students record their simple messages in their Maker Journals, along with the decoded meaning of the message(s).
  • Students trade messages and attempt to decode each other’s message(s)
Student Directions (Click + to open)

The following is a sample dialog between the teacher and the students in this lesson.

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

Organize students into teams of 2 persons, and then assemble teams together for a whole group discussion. Show the Video: What is Morse Code?

T: What are codes?

S: a way to use symbols in certain patterns (sounds, etc.) to represent messages…

T: Patterns can be made out of sounds and out of lights—- can anyone show me a pattern by clapping their hands?

S: (answers vary … clap-clap-dah-clap-clap —pause — clap-clap!)

T: (Hold up a flashlight). Can anyone show me a light pattern using this flashlight?

S: (answers vary … a sequence of short flashes)

T: Let’s take a look at a clever machine that someone made a long time ago to send messages over long distances (show the video:  What is Morse Code?)

T: (After the video hand out Maker Journal Page). Discuss the pattern of dots and dashes shown on the Maker Journal page).  Notice different patterns of dots and dashes. A dot is one short sound — (make a short sound by buzzing lips, or clapping hands, and then have them repeat).

T: (Show them what a dash looks like, and then make a buzzing sound, or rubs hands together to make sound for 3 seconds). A dash is one longer 3 second sound. Now you do it.

T: Look at the letter “A” on the Morse Code chart. It has one dot and a space, and then one dash.  The sound for this would be …. (one short sound, a short pause, then 3 second sound ——— have them repeat).

T: Look for a different letter and raise your hand if you’d like to show us how it would sound.

S: (answers vary …) “S” sounds like this…; “D” sounds like this ….

T: Look at that! So far we know the Morse Code for the letters S, A, and D. What if we put them together to spell a word?  How about the word “SAD”! (Demonstrate how to do this, and then give students a few minutes to practice other code sounds — do this as long as you think they are understanding how to convert dots and dashes to sounds).

T: Now look at your Maker Journal Page.  You are shown a set of 10 easy symbols that could be used to send a Morse code. Work together with your teammate to make simple words with these symbols and try out different sounds to send them to another team. See if the other team can figure out your message!

(After awhile call time)

T: How could we have used a flashlight to send Morse Codes?

S: Quick on and off is a dot, and 3 seconds of light on is a dash.

Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Vocabulary:

Code: a system of signals such as sounds or lights) or symbols (such as letters of numbers) for communication used to represent assigned and often secret meanings.

Morse Code: Morse Code is a system of electronic communication. It uses dots, dashes, and spaces to represent letters, punctuation, and numbers. The symbols are arranged to spell out a message. A machine called a telegraph converts the symbols into electrical signals and sends them across a wire to their destination. The signals are then converted back into the message by the telegraph that receives them. 

Samuel Finley Breese Morse:   (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

Sound:  Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear. Light travels faster than sound.

  • Sound energy moves through a process of vibrating air molecules, which create a chain reaction of vibrating molecules that the ear perceives as sound.
  • The farther you are from the origin of the sound, the less the chance that you will be able to feel the vibration, and thus the less you can hear the sound.
  • The size of the object that begins the wave of sound energy will produce a different type of wave than another object that is a different size.
  • Sound energy, because it is based on vibrations, must travel through something: if you have a vacuum of space such as a black hole, there can be no sound.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Students review their own method for using sound signals to communicating over a distance. Students evaluate whether their explanation clearly addresses how coding can be useful (and not so useful) communication devices.

Peer Assessment

Student teams discuss and compare their findings and share different viewpoints. Students should compare and explain what they feel about communicating with sound codes.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individuals as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss , compare, and reason their abilities to communicate with sound/codes over a distance.

Lesson Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box           -or-

One RAFT “Glove-a-Phone”  (click on link) per student (or small balloons/latex gloves, straws, cardboard tubes of various lengths and widths), scissors, laminate samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, fishboard, cardboard tubes, plas core scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, CD’s, access to light sources (windows, flashlights, etc.), tape, glue, scissors, timer, measuring devices, etc.

Connecting Materials:

Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., masking tape rubber bands, paperclips, binder clips, thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, labels & stickers, etc.)

External Resources

Video: What is Morse Code?

Maker Journal Pages

Lesson 4: Maker Journal Page

Teacher Notes

Always preview videos ahead of showing to the class.  Explain the concept of “sound communication” to the class.   

 

 

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

Send a simple Morse code message using sound to communicate a short message over a distance.

 

Lesson 5: Design Challenge: Ideate, Prototype, Test (45 min)

Design Challenge Overview

          How can we design an instrument or a coding device to send classroom messages to the rest of the school?

Option 1: Students use upcycled materials to create a percussion instrument to communicate a specific classroom message to the rest of the school, or

Option 2: Students use upcycled reflective materials to shine a light upon letters or symbols to send classroom messages to the rest of the school.

Essential Questions:

  • How can we design something that communicates an important classroom message to the rest of the school by using sound or light?
  • What do we need to consider? What are our criteria and constraints?

LESSON PROCEDURE:

  • Present and explain the Design Challenge.
  • Ask leading questions to prompt student thinking about the criteria and constraints to be considered. The students decide on the criteria and constraints for the final design challenge. Expected or required criteria/constraints should include:
    • The device is able to send or receive information over a given distance.
    • The device must use light or sound to communicate.
    • Students use only the provided materials when building the device.
  • Student teams choose one of the two options for their design challenge.
  • Students draw pictures of their design ideas in the Maker Journals, then prototype their ideas, test them, and reiterate until a final design is chosen that meets all criteria and constraints.
  • Student teams describe specific features of their design solution (including how it satisfies the design criteria and constraints) in their Maker Journals.
  • Students describe to the class and/or another audience:
    • How their device meets the expected criteria and constraints of the design solution
    • How their device provides a solution to the problem
    • How using light or sound to communicate over long distances is helpful
Introduce the Design Challenge (Click + to open)

(Note:  T stands for teacher, and S stands for student, with additional advice in parenthesis)

Organize students into teams of 2 persons, and then assemble teams together for a whole group discussion.

T: Why is it helpful sometimes to send messages by light or sound instead of talking to someone?

S: because people might not speak the same language; people might be too far apart from each other; signals/symbols/patterns can be understood by anyone, etc.

T:  What examples can you tell us about that use sound and light to send messages, sometimes over long distances?

S:  telephones let you to talk to someone over a long distance; TV’s show pictures and sound over distances; drums/sirens/light houses, etc., can sound or shine a light as a warning signal; etc.

T:  We have been learning a lot about sound and light to send messages. Today I have a Design Challenge for you!   What can your team create out of recycled materials to send messages from our classroom to the rest of the school?

Your team can choose from two options of what to design:

Option 1: Use materials from our Makerspace to create a percussion instrument to communicate a specific classroom message to the rest of the school, or

Option 2: Use reflective materials from our Makerspace to shine a light upon letters or symbols to send classroom messages to the rest of the school.

T:  What should our criteria and constraints be? Engineers design things using some rules about how the designs must behave or work.  These rules are called criteria.  Engineers can run out of materials, money, time to build, or space in which to build something.  In other words there are limits on how something can be built.  These limits are called constraints.  (review the criteria and constraints for this challenge and pass out Maker Journal Page for them to keep track of the criteria, constraints, and to choose one of the two options as a team):

Criteria (design requirements) Constraints (design limitations)
  • Model must be able to send or receive a message at least the distance across the playground.
  • Model must be easily put together and taken apart
  • Model is portable
  • Model must be built with materials provided
  • Model must be completed and tested in the given time
  • If you choose Option 1: your model must be a percussion instrument
  • If your choose Option 2: your model must use reflective materials to shine a light upon letters or symbols
  • Model must not be secured to the ground or testing area in any way

Ideate In the ideate Phase of the Design Thinking process, student teams brainstorm ideas for how they could design a model for the problem given the criteria and constraints. Any idea is possible. Give students a short amount of time to quickly brainstorm their ideas (suggestion: pass out post-it sticky notes for students to record ideas). Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the Design Thinking Process.

Ideate In the ideate Phase of the Design Thinking process, student teams brainstorm ideas for how they could design a model for the problem given the criteria and constraints. Any idea is possible. Give students a short amount of time to quickly brainstorm their ideas (suggestion: pass out post-it sticky notes for students to record ideas). Keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the Design Thinking Process.

Student Directions (Click + to open)

T:  Engineers begin with something they call the Ideate phase when they begin to think of ideas for a design. The Ideate phase is part of the whole Design thinking process. Have you ever heard of the word “brainstorm”? What does it mean?

S: coming up with lots of ideas

T:  I’m going to give you 10 minutes to ideate, which means to record on post-its all possible design ideas you can think of to solve your choice of Design Challenge option — when time is called, spread all your post it notes out in front of you…

S: (Student teams decide on one of the two Design Challenge Options, and then quickly brainstorm together ideas until time is called).

T:  (call time.  Pass out Maker Journal Page and point to the section as you explain the following…). Take a minute to look at all your team’s ideas, and then record your favorite ideas under the “Ideate” section on your Maker Journal page.

S: (students record ideas on Maker Journal pages…)

T: Now, based on your ideas, you’re ready to move to the prototype phase where you will build models of your idea!

Prototype

In the Prototype Phase teams build a model of their design based upon ideas generated from the Ideate Phase (keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the prototype, and test phases)

 

Prototype

In the Prototype Phase teams build a model of their design based upon ideas generated from the Ideate Phase (keep in mind students may choose to or need to return to this phase as they iterate through the prototype, and test phases)

Student Directions (Click + to open)

T: Look at the ideas your team got from the Ideate Phase of Design Thinking. Take one or combine more than one of those ideas together to design a sample model for your Design Challenge Option. Remember to record information about your prototype on your Maker Journal Page in the “Prototype” section. You have 20 minutes to prototype a design — starting right now!

S: (student teams work together building their models)

T: (Walk around teams, add encouragement if needed and look for examples of communication, collaboration, engaged conversations, involvement, cooperation, etc.)

Test your Design

Students test their prototype according to how it holds up to all criteria and constraints. If the test fails, students may choose or need to return to this phase after designing a new prototype, testing it, retesting it, and iterating through these phases again and again until a final model is agreed upon.

Student Directions (Click + to open)Concept Quick Reference (Click + to open)

Vocabulary:

Criteria: a standard of judgment or criticism; a rule or principle for evaluating or testing something.

Constraints: The state of being restricted or confined within prescribed bounds.

Learning Targets

Students will be able to:

  • Design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the given problem.
  • Describe specific features of the design solution.
  • Describe the specific expected or required criteria/constraints of the design solution that include:
    • The device is able to send or receive information over a given distance.
    • The device must use light or sound to communicate.
    • Students use only the materials provided when building the device.
  • In evaluating potential solutions, students will describe whether the device:
    • Has the expected or required features of the design solution
    • Provides a solution to the problem involving people communicating over a distance by using light or sound
  • Describe how communicating with light and/or sound over long distances helps people.

Assessment

Student Self Assessment

Student groups review their makerspace journal and summarize their learning in a group discussion

Peer Assessment

Student groups discuss and compare their findings and share different methods of communication through sound and light. Students should also share the difficulties that they discovered in the process.

Teacher Assessment

Review student makerspace journal pages for formative assessment and discuss with individual groups as they work.

Conduct a whole group discussion to allow all students to share, discuss and compare their findings.

Design Challenge Materials

Building Materials:

RAFT Makerspace-in-a-box           -or-

Laminate samples, dust covers, foam pieces, deli containers, fishboard, cardboard tubes, plas core scraps, posters, shower caps, scrap materials, cards, CD’s, access to light sources (windows, flashlights, etc.), tape, glue, scissors, timer, measuring devices, etc.

Connecting Materials:

Various adhesives, connectors, and fasteners (e.g., paperclips, binder clips, masking tape,

thread, yarn, adhesive foam pads, wooden stir sticks, straws, spoons, pipettes, labels & stickers, rubber bands, etc.)

Teacher Notes

This culminating lesson brings together all that the students have learned in this unit.  Encourage students to create their own criteria and constraints for the final design challenge.  Model ways to brainstorm, communicate, share, and carry out ideas.  Encourage mistakes as they are part of the learning process. Allow students time to research, and to interpret, their own ideas for coming up with a plan for their design challenges.

Encourage  opportunities for students to examine each other’s findings and to make comments in front of each other and other audiences.

Active Classroom

Communication is critical in the design process. Students need to be allowed to talk, stand, and move around to acquire materials. Tips for success in an active classroom environment:

1 –  Students can access any wall, board, or surface to gather and explore ideas — students personalize the working space to meet their needs.

2 – Students have regular opportunities to make choices, including choices about what they learn and how they learn it.

3 –Encourage students to learn and to demonstrate what they’ve learned in ways that best suit their individual learning styles.

4 – It is not a free-for-all!  Amount of prep and planning is evidenced by quality of student work and level of students’ engagement. All is carefully thought out in advance.

5 – Practice and predict clean-up strategies before beginning the activity. Ask students to offer suggestions for ensuring that they will leave a clean and useable space for the next activity. Students may enjoy creating very specific clean-up roles. Once these are established, the same student-owned strategies can be used every time hands-on learning occurs.

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