G4 – Ballon Car Challenge 2018

Hello Grade 4!

Your Design Challenge for today is to create a car that travels the quickest/furthest distance possible using balloon power.

There three main considerations that will help you achieve the best speed & distance:

  1. Light weight
    Make your car as light as possible. Carefully plan and select the lightest materials you can find. Analyse every aspect of your car to make it as light as you possibly can. Don’t add anything to your car that is not necessary!
  2. Low friction and aligned wheels
    Ensure that your wheels are rolling freely. There should not be any glue, tape, clay or anything else obstructing the wheels because this will slow down your car. Your wheels should also be aligned. This means they are all facing the same direction.  If they are not aligned, your wheels will work against each other and slow down your car.

    Make sure you sketch and plan wheel designs before you start making them so you are sure that your wheels are a low friction design and aligned!

Examples:

Plastic bottle balloon powered car design

www.sciencebuddies.org

Sketch for balloon powered car design

www.sciencebuddies.org

Balloon car with CD wheels

 

Plastic bottle car design:

 

Cardboard car design:

 

More examples here!

Instructions/conditions:

  • You will work in a team of 3 people. Make a name for your team!
    • One person per team is responsible for taking pictures and videos
    • One person per team is responsible for sketching the design concepts
    • One person per team is responsible for recording all times and distances travelled by your car
  • Make a labeled sketch of how you think your car design will look and work
    • Your sketch must be approved by your teacher before you begin making your car
    • You should update your sketch each time you make a major change to your design
  • Use the materials supplied in the basket. You may use other materials available in your classroom (check with your teacher)
  • Test your car’s speed and distance on the space marked out in your classroom
    • Use the iPad timer and record your times/distances on the sheet provided
  • Each team is allowed one visit to either Mr. Jerry or Mr. Sam for technical support

We will learn about problem solving, teamwork, and the design process as well as potential & kinetic energy, friction and resistance, and measurement.

Groups

Mr. Manley 
Red 
Mr. Blohm 
Black 
Ms. Grant 
Purple 
Ms. Williams 
Orange 
Mr. Flanagan 
Blue 
Mr. Gregory 
Green 
Eva
Jasmine
Jay
Ethan 
Emily
Lynn
Everett
Koki 
Christina
Vanessa
Justin
Rayan 
Julie
Sarah
George
Michael 
Angelina
Amy
Raphael
Lucas 
Jessica
Antoine
Leo 
Aiden 
Darren 
Claire 
Isla 
Jungyoon 
Ethan 
Evan 
Anthony Hou 
Gideon  
Jerry 
Caroline 
Chloe 
Prachi 
Luke 
Matthew 
Thomas 
Olivia 
Elizabeth 
Madeleine 
Zoe 
Adam 
Anton 
Crystal 
Sophia 
Justin W 
Nate 
Cera 
Emma 
Tim 
Carina 
Apple 
Jayden 
May 
Joyce 
Bill 
Isaac 
Cheyenne 
Ethan 
Haeun 
Felix 
Max 
Justin S 
Camilla 
Abby 
Ann 
Annie 
Aryan 
Chelsea 
Daniel 
Ethan 
Jasmine 
Felix 
Jason 
Jennifer 
Jonathan 
Justin 
Mika 
Leo 
Richard 
Romain 
Serena 
Siwoo 
Tamy 
Vivaan 
Yi Jia 
Tina 
O’Malley 
Sam X. 
Michael 
Jojo 
Lucy 
Cooper 
Jian 
Sophia 
Justin 
Leo 
Honey 
Lucas 
Tao 
Addy 
Evelyn 
Sam I. 
Ben 
Qiming 
Scarlet 
Jason 
Monica 
Michael C. 
Aadi 
Anthony 
Joyce 
Sumika  
Christine 
Cherry 
Max 
Grace 
Ansh 
Jia 
Michael Z. 
Junah 
Emily  
Boxuan 
Kevin 
Sheri 
Milo 
Nathan 
Cindy  
Caleb 
Daniel 

 

 

Good luck,

Mr. Sam and Mr. Jerry

Hour of Code 2018

Hour of Code is an annual event for schools organised by Code.org, a group that seeks to promote coding around the world, particularly supporting women and minorities. Typically, Hour of Code takes place in the first week of December, but the 200+ activities are available to explore anytime. It could be a good opportunity for you to increase the amount of coding you include in your teaching, or just to have options for fun end-of-year activities.

If you are interested in exploring Hour of Code with your students, we recommend you:

  • Have a group discussion about which students are interested in coding and what they may know already – perhaps skilled students could lead novice students
  • Take a look over the HoC activities library and offer students some choice about what/how they wish to learn
  • Consider incorporating robotics such as Edison (UES), MangoBot (LES) and Lego Mindstorms (UES-HS) either in-class or in the design lab(s)
  • Talk to anyone in Ed Tech for more specific ideas linked to your units

Outside of the Code.org library, there are other ways to explore coding with your students, including:

Happy coding and let us know if you would like any help or suggestions!

Sam

Grade 5: Extending arm with grabber


Grade 5 homerooms have been visiting the Design Lab to create an extending grabbing arm. Students have enjoyed following the sequence of steps to build the basic arm, then developing their own concepts for the grabber, depending on what they wish to pick up. In the testing phase, different objects are assigned points depending on how difficult they are to pick up. Students also have an opportunity to refine their design’s durability and performance with other materials and techniques.

G5 Extending Grabber slides

In the future, this activity could be developed further with links to math concepts, for example investigating the different acute and obtuse angles created by the arm. This design is really a prototype which could be further developed with lego Mindstorms or more advanced making techniques.

Grade 4: Earthquake-proof building

As part of Grade 4’s Earth Changes unit, a number of homerooms have visited the Design Lab to take part in a design challenge. Using limited materials, students are given the problem of how to design a building concept that will survive Mr. Jerry’s Earthquake Machine©.

G4 Earthquake Building

Grade 3 Load-bearing structure

Grade 3’s introduction to the Design Lab has been a challenge to design a load-bearing structure. They must plan and develop a structure using limited materials (and time) that supports as many steel ball bearings as possible.

As different homerooms have done the activity, Jerry and I have had to adjust some of the parameters because the students have been good at finding loopholes in the problem – making the challenge too easy in some cases. For example, we had to stop students from making “water towers” (by attaching popsicle sticks  to the sides of the cup like legs) because this was too strong and easy to make. After a couple of these adjustments, the challenge feels just right, and students are having to find more creative solutions.

Design Lab Load-bearing Tower

Grade 3 Space & Place

Grade 3 are currently working on their Space & Place unit, which focuses on the following NGSS standards:

5-ESS1.1 – Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

5-ESS1.2 – Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

As part of the unit, students have been working on a sequence of activities in the Design Lab, including:

  • Constructing scale models of planets in the solar system
  • Constructing a scale model of the distance between planets in the solar system
  • Design Challenge: Mars landing module

To Scale: The Solar System”

Design Challenge: Mars Landing Module

Students examined the “Curiosity” Mars rover mission and explored some of the factors affecting the landing of the rover. Their design challenge is to create their own version of the landing module. Their craft needs to safely land a rover on the surface of Mars – in this case the “rover” is an egg that needs to land (without breaking) in the “drop zone” 2 storeys below – aided by their module design.

Constraints

  • Students must work to a budget, meaning they need to be intentional about the materials they use
  • The egg must not break during the final test
  • The module must land in the “drop zone”

“7 Minutes of Terror: Landing the Mars Rover”

Slides

G3 Space and Place

https://isbdragons.sharepoint.com/:p:/s/design/EcKiZJS28KxMiC05JmkUaFQBunRhKZe8s8OMWARUsTQJGg?e=KqjuxL

Grade 4: Systems Unit

Grade 4 have begun their Systems unit, exploring:

  • What makes a system?
  • How are systems interdependent?
  • How can systems change?

This post contains the resources for the Grade 4 Systems eBook.

Grade 4 Systems eBook:

 

  • ePub (for editing in Book Creator & iBooks)
  • PDF (for view only)

Part 1

Edison intro activities

BrainPop

Swift Playgrounds

Part 2

BrainPop

System map & infographic examples:

Final video example

One Day 2018

One Day is a day middle schoolers go off schedule and design their own learning and creating for the day.  This year we changed it a bit and asked teachers to develop a framework through a guiding question.  Students should develop some new skills and have the ability to create their own designs and products within that theme.

Ski Nanshan

The topics we offered this year were:

Top Chef: How can you improvise, revise or create a recipe?

Stopmotion Animation: How do I make a meaningful stop motion movie?

Paper Quilling: How can we present traditional Chinese elements and patterns through western style art form?

Creating Comics: How can we create a dynamic comic that tells a story?

Out of the Blocks: What does an entire city block sound like? Tackle that question, by documenting the stories, voices, and people who populate the block across from ISB.

Write On!: How do you bring your writing to life? What can you create using the written word?

Make a Game: How do we create a new game, simulation, or instructional platform that is interesting, useful, and is challenging enough to offer its players multiple outcomes?

Fitness Fun: How can we make fitness fun and less time consuming? Design a fitness workout/exercise planner/new sport.

Music 4 Change: How can we collaborate,express our passions, and raise awareness for an issue through creating music together?

Making with Clay: What can you make with clay, with new skills on the wheel, with an extruder, and slab roller?

Precious Plastic: How can we give new life and utility to a waste product that is causing massive environmental destruction?

Curious Garden: How can the simple act of creating a bottled garden positively impact our mindfulness and wellbeing in our
everyday lives?

Rollercoaster Car Racing: How will the principles of physics (Newton’s Laws of Motion) affect a car running on a roller coaster track?

DIY Skincare: How can we make skincare products ourselves and what impact does this have on our health and the environment?

Handy Textiles & Giftmaking: How can you hand-craft a gift for a special someone?

Just Dance! Students will collaborate and choreograph or learn and perform a dance. They will choose a dance genre and
music.

Shunyi Photography: How can photographs tell a story?

Ski Nanshan: How can you challenge your ski skills?

Go Karting: How can I improve my driving/karting techniques?

 

Previously, students were able to choose anything they wanted to do, but it was often difficult for some students due to a variety of reasons. Most commonly, students struggling without a more solid framework due to being new, language proficiency, student support or lack of ideas/motivation.  In the past we have had some great projects, but we have had a number of students playing Minecraft all day or choosing something that ultimately didn’t have a purpose or ended up in the trash.  While we can still tweak the logistics and organization of the day, it is a great day and so amazing to walk around to see what students are choosing to learn and create.  Students were focused, happy and created great things when they had voice and choice in what they could do for One Day. Depending on the activities, some teachers were even able to participate in the creating and learning.

 

Precious Plastic

Why is plastic waste a problem?

It seems like every day there is a new story on the global devastation of plastic pollution. Sadly, the more we learn, the worse things seem to be. Here are some of the reasons plastic is threatening ecosystems all over the world:

 

  • Plastic is everywhere and seemingly used in everything, including packaging, most textiles (clothes, fabric, carpet etc), cosmetics (microbeads).
  • 50% of all the plastic we use is thrown away after a single use. This includes items such as water bottles, grocery bags, straws etc.
  • Currently, only 5% of the plastic we use is reclaimed/recycled.
  • 10 metric tonnes of plastic pollution wash into the Pacific Ocean every day – from L.A. alone.
  • In the last 10 years humans have produced more plastic than all previous time put together.
  • Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
  • Our clothing contains a large amount of plastic which also contributes huge amounts of landfill and pollution as it breaks down. People now keep clothes for a far shorter amount of time than ever before, choosing to throw them away when they become bored, instead of repairing clothes that become worn out.
  • Plastic never goes away, it just degrades into smaller and smaller pieces which end up in waterways (including drinking water), habitats all over the planet, food chains, and, humans. The current estimate for ocean plastic of 5 trillion particles is believed to be a “major underestimation”.
  • We still don’t really know the direct risk of plastic contamination to humans.
  • In spite of all this, the production of plastic is actually increasing.
What can we do?

Reduce – Reuse – Recycle (+Repair!)

The best way we can have an impact on plastic pollution is to not use the plastic in the first place (reduce). We can do this by taking greater responsibility for our purchases and habits:

  • Use reusable water bottles, lunch containers, coffee cups, shopping bags, drinking straws
  • Be prepared to not buy something if there is an excessive use of plastic packaging.
  • Be more considerate about our purchases such as clothing – how long will you use the item for before it is thrown away?
  • Spread knowledge about the danger of plastic pollution
  • Get involved – follow #preciousplastic, #plasticpollution and many other social media tags and profiles for details about sustainability, clean up activities

When we collect and prepare our plastics for recycling, we become more aware of our consumption. We start to pay attention to the types of plastics we are using and rethink some of those purchases – perhaps switching brands or even not buying the item any more. These are some added benefits of recycling our plastics.

Recycling our plastic waste into items like bowls, lamp shades and furniture is a wonderful way to repurpose plastic into something usable and learn more about the impacts – but this only treats the symptom of the problem, not the cause, which is too much consumption of plastic!

What is Precious Plastic?

Precious Plastic is a global community of hundreds of people working towards a solution to plastic pollution. Knowledge, tools and techniques are shared online, for free.

In early 2018, ISB was able to set up our own plastic recycling station using the plans and expertise from Precious Plastic – we even had one of their representatives, Mathias, spend a week with us to teach us some techniques.

How does it work?

The easiest plastics to recycle are #2, #5 and #6. This is because they tolerate a range of different of heating and manipulation techniques without producing noxious fumes. In the future, other plastics may also be recycled at ISB but these would require specialised equipment.

Step 1: Collection

There are currently collection bins located around the school, including the design labs, different hallways and classrooms. Please ensure that the plastic items are labeled with the correct number and are clean.

The most common examples of plastics we can recycle are:

  • Milk bottles
  • Bottle caps
  • Shampoo & detergent bottles
  • Take away containers
  • Lots of other containers – always check the number!
Step 2: Sorting & shredding

The items are taken to the Fab Lab, sorted into similar colours and shredded, then the shredded plastic goes into tubs ready to be used in different design projects. One great thing about shredding the plastic is that it takes up much less space – so a full tub of plastic containers can be shredded down to around 1/20th the volume.

Step 3: Making

There are several techniques we can apply in the Fab Lab to create designs from shredded plastic:

Oven melting

We can put different plastics in the oven where it is melted and can be moulded into different forms such as bowls, jewellery, etc.

Extrusion

An extruder is a bit like a sausage maker! Shredded plastic goes in, then it is heated and forced out as a molten thread. It takes some practice, but the technique can be used to make bowls, baskets, hats, lamp shades, etc.

Injection

This machine allows melted plastic to be casted into different forms by pouring the plastic into a mold. Using this technique we can produce furniture, phone cases, key chains, statues, etc.

What can we make with recycled plastic waste?

There are lots of different things we can make using our Precious Plastics equipment in the Fab Lab:

  • Decorative bowls (not suitable for food)
  • Plant holders
  • Lampshades
  • Jewelry & fashion
  • Keychains
  • Coasters & tiles
  • Furniture

To get inspired, follow #preciousplastic (and variations) on social media

 

 

References

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists

Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends

22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)

https://www.5gyres.org/

http://duduadudua.blogspot.hk/2016/04/precious-plastic-recicla.html

 

Grade 3: Lunchbox design & 3D printing

Over the last few weeks, several Grade 3 classes designed lunch box concepts for their classmates as part of their Culture Unit. Students had to empathise with each other in order to understand their specific needs, working together to provide testing and feedback throughout the process. Students calculated the surface area and developed a scale plan which they referenced during their time in the Design Lab creating prototypes. Each class then voted on their favourite concept and each of the three winning designs was 3D modelled and printed by Mr Sam or Mr Jerry.

This week we will be visiting the Grade 3 classes to award them with their models and demonstrate the process of modelling and printing the lunchbox concepts. Well done to all of the involved students and we look forward to future design & 3D printing endeavours!

How to model a lunchbox in TinkerCad

Watch the lunchbox being printed


 

Sam

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