STAYING COOL DESIGN CHALLENGE
HOW DO YOU KEEP THINGS FROM GETTING TOO HOT?
Grade Level: 2 - 4
Duration: Three or Four - 30-45 minute periods
Design challenges are intended to focus on real-life situations that give students the chance to deal with many of the same issues in which scientists, engineers, and researchers are confronted in their laboratories and their computers everyday. Using the "Staying Cool" theme addressed in the MESSENGER Education Modules, we challenge your students to work as a team to design and build an effective sunshade for a model MESSENGER spacecraft.
How does the amount of sunlight and heat change in areas that are shaded?
Light is a form of energy.
Tools help scientists make observations, measurements, and discoveries of things that could not otherwise see, calculate, and do.
Spacecraft traveling near the Sun must be designed so taht sensitive instruments are protected from being overheated by the Sun.
People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques to solve these problems. Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems. Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results. This understanding focuses primarily on teams working together and secondarily, on the combination of scientist and engineer teams.
Standards & Benchmarks
NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS
Standard E 1-5: Abilities of Technological Design
- Identify a problem. In problem identification, children should develop the ability to explain a problem in their own words and identify a specific task and solution related to the problem. [See Content Standard A (grades K-4)]
- Propose a solution. Students should make proposals to build something or get something to work better; they should be able to describe and communicate their ideas. Students should recognize that designing a solution might have constraints, such as cost, materials, time, space, or safety.
- Implementing proposed solution. Children should develop abilities to work individually and collaboratively and to use suitable tools, techniques, and quantitative measurements when appropriate. Students should demonstrate the ability to balance simple constraints in problem solving.
- Evaluate a product or design. Students should evaluate their own results or solutions to problems, as well as those of other children, by considering how well a product or design met the challenge to solve a problem. When possible, students should use measurements and include constraints and other criteria in their evaluations. They should modify designs based on the results of evaluations.
- Communicate a problem, design and solution. Student abilities should include oral, written, and pictorial communication of the design process and product. The communication might be show and tell, group discussions, short written reports, or pictures, depending on the students’ abilities and the design project.
Standard E 6-10: Understanding About Science and Technology
- People have always had questions about their world. Science is one way of answering questions and explaining the natural world.
- People have always had problems and invented tools and techniques (ways of doing something) to solve problems. Trying to determine the effects of solutions helps people avoid some new problems.
- Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results. This understanding focuses primarily on teams working together and secondarily, on the combination of scientist and engineer teams.
- Women and men of all ages, backgrounds, and groups engage in a variety of scientific and technological work.
- Tools help scientists make better observations, measurements, and equipment for investigations. They help scientists see, measure, and do things that they could not otherwise see, measure, and do.
BENCHMARKS FOR SCIENTIFIC LITERACY (AAAS PROJECT 2061)
- There is no perfect design. Designs that are best in one respect (safety or ease of use, for example) may be inferior in other ways (cost or appearance). Usually some features must be sacrificed to get others. How such trade-offs are received depends upon which features are emphasized and which are down-played.
- Even a good design may fail. Sometimes steps can be taken ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of failure, but it cannot be entirely eliminated.
- The solution to one problem may create other problems.
- Seeing how a model works after changes are made to it suggest how the real thing would work if the same were done to it.