FRAMING PATHWAYS TO ANSWERS: THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS IN ACTION STAYING COOL
How to Keep Gelatin from Melting?
Grade Level: 5-8
Duration: 1 week to 1 month
Students will design and build a platform that will be placed on top of a heat source. A 6 cm x 6 cm x 6 cm cube of gelatin will be placed on the platform, with a thermometer inserted in it. The goal is to keep the temperature inside the cube as cool as possible and prevent the gelatin from melting.
How can the scientific method be used to develop a structure that protects an item exposed to a high temperature?
The scientific method can be used to find solutions to many problems.
There can be more than one solution to a problem.
Food and other items need to be kept at certain temperatures in order to maximize their usability and maintain their structural integrity.
MESSENGER Mission Conncection
The MESSENGER mission designers have come up with various ways to keep the temperatures on the spacecraft tolerable in the hot Mercurian environment.
Standards & Benchmarks
NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS
Standard E1: Abilities of technological design
- Design a solution or product: Students should make and compare different proposals in the light of the criteria they have selected. They must consider constraints�such as cost, time, trade-offs, and materials needed�and communicate ideas with drawings and simple models.
- Implement a proposed design: Students should organize materials and other resources, plan their work, make good use of group collaboration where appropriate, choose suitable tools and techniques, and work with appropriate measurement methods to ensure adequate accuracy.
- Evaluate completed technological designs or products: Students should use criteria relevant to the original purpose or need, consider a variety of factors that might affect acceptability and suitability for intended users or beneficiaries, and develop measures of quality with respect to such criteria and factors; they should also suggest improvements and, for their own products, try proposed modifications.
Standard E2: Understandings about science and technology
- Perfectly designed solutions do not exist. All technological solutions have tradeoffs, such as safety, cost, efficiency, and appearance. Engineers often build in back-up systems to provide safety. Risk is part of living in a highly technological world. Reducing risk often results in new technology.
- Technological designs have constraints. Some constraints are unavoidable, for example, properties of materials, or effects of weather and friction; other constraints limit choices in the design, for example, environmental protection, human safety, and aesthetics.
BENCHMARKS FOR SCIENTIFIC LITERACY (AAAS PROJECT 2061)
- Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed from one form to another.
- Sanitation measures such as... safe food handling are important in controlling the spread of organisms that cause disease. Improving sanitation to prevent disease has contributed more to saving human life than any advance in medical treatment.
- Know why it is important to keep honest, clear, and accurate records.
- Notice and criticize the reasoning in arguments in which (1) fact and opinion are intermingled or the conclusions do not logically follow from the evidence given, (2) an analogy is not apt�