~~In this year long class students will investigate the principles of simple machines and structures. They will build Lego models of simple machines, then models incorporating simple machines and structures (many of them motorized) and in the second semester we will incorporate models using pneumatics and renewable energy (new this year). We will experiment with balanced and unbalanced forces and friction; measure distance, time, speed, and weight; and much more.
The curriculum lists the following objectives:
Design & make models that fulfill specific criteria / Observe the behavior of models / Make assumptions and predictions / Test the assumptions & predictions / Reflect & redesign / Record findings & Present findings / Think creatively to try to explain how things work / Establish links between cause and effect / Design & make models that fulfill specific criteria / Try ideas using results from observations and measurements / Ask questions that can be investigated scientifically / Reflect on how to find answers / Imagine new possibilities / Make fair tests by changing single factors and observing & measuring the effects / Make systematic observations and measurements / Display and communicate data using diagrams, drawings, tables, bar charts and line graphs / Decide whether conclusions agree with the predictions made / and whether conclusions enable further predictions / Review their work and describe significance and limitations.
The curriculum is designed for students to collaborate in groups of two.