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 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.
- 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”
G3 Space and Place
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)
Edison intro activities
System map & infographic examples:
Final video example
Grade 4 are practising using Edison robots, both as an engaging way to learn about coding and robotics as well as helping prepare for their upcoming unit on “Systems”.
We are running through a sequence of self-directed intro activities to help students understand:
- The different features of the robots, the various inputs (barcode, sound, light and digital upload via cable)
- The various commands & outputs (movement, sound, line tracking, stopping/avoiding lines & physical barriers)
- Some of the basic things Edison can do (driving, navigating, racing, tracing, sumo wrestling(!))
Shortly, we will upload some student videos, also attached are some activity sheets to give you an idea of how the learning material is structured.
While these activities are probably best suited to Grades 2-5, the learning sequence continues into more complex activities that would likely be applicable to higher grades. If you would like to know more, please get in touch!
Some of the Grade 5 classes are investigating how to create a “grabbing claw” that mimics a bird of prey’s talons. This activity comes at the end of their Biomimicry Unit which saw students explore the many ways scientists and designers use nature as inspiration to solve problems. Below are some photos of 5JP students creating their grabbing claw designs.
You can view the lesson plan here. The claw design activity comes from PBS LearningMedia.
Hello Grade 4!
Your Design Challenge for today is to create a car that travels the quickest/furthest distance possible using balloon power.
- 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, Mr. Geoff 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.
Mr. Sam and Mr. Jerry
Plastic bottle car design:
Cardboard car design: