The groups will use Google Docs to document their steps though the engineering design process.
Lesson 1 Activity 1 and 2
The students will identify the problem. How can we design a safer car The students will have to define the constraints of the problem.
Lesson 2 Activity 3 and 4
At this stage the students will have to think about how they are going to make the car safer in a frontal crash. In activity 3 each group will test a different material or construction method to lower the HIC.
Groups will develop their initial design during class time as well as outside of class over the course of 5 days.
Students will test their design by attaching an accelerometer to their car and launching it down the track into a wall 80 ft. away. Students will use the data to evaluate the effectiveness of their device.
Each group will present their findings.
Students will have 5 days to refine their design and retest.
Lesson 2 Activity 5
The students will create a video presentation to the class on their process though the engineering design process high lighting key components of their process with pictures, sketches, tables, graphs and equations.
Students take the derivative of a function when they really want to integrate it.
Videos Used for my Compilation
2014 Toyota Corolla | Frontal Crash Test | CrashNet1
Nissan Altima | 2013 | Frontal Crash Test | NHTSA High Speed Camera | CrashNet1
1959 Chevrolet Bel Air vs. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu IIHS crash test
Crash test results for midsize family cars - IIHS news
Pre-Unit Assessment Instrument
Post-Unit Assessment Instrument
Results: Evidence of Growth in Student Learning
After analyzing the Pre-Assessment and the Post-Assessment data I noticed that the grades improved dramatically. The Assessment was 10 questions each worth 5 point per question. The average score on the Pre-Assessment was a 13% and the average score on the post assessment was a 70%. This was a 438% increase. The pre and post-test was designed as the chapter test that covers integration as the major concept for the project was integration, area under the curve, and average value.
How to Make This a Hierarchical Unit
For a middle school unit the students could go through the design process to build the fastest car and do a bracket and have students race to find a winner. You could also use the Vernier sensors to talk about acceleration and velocity without introducing derivatives. You can graph the data and talk about non-linear relationships
The success of the lesson is that the students had the opportunity to apply advanced mathematical concepts in a real world situation. This was the fifth unit I taught from the CEEMS project. This time around I felt that working through the essential and guiding questions went very well. Similar to the last 2 project I gave the students about 8 minutes to come up with their list of questions and had each group share 2 or 3 of their questions. As a class we decided if it is an essential or a guiding question. After each group shared I asked if there were any other questions they would like to add. This worked better because each group was forced to contribute something to the conversation and by allowing the students to add at the end everyone could have their ideas heard. For many of my students in this class this was their fourth time going through the Engineering Design Process and Challenge based learning. The transitions from day to day and topic to topic seemed to be very smooth as they knew what to expect.
Another success of the lesson was how well the technology worked, specifically the Vernier LabQuest2 and the wireless accelerometers. For the portion of the project when the students launched the cars and used the area under the acceleration curve most groups got a number very close to zero, which makes sense. The total velocity from start to finish should be zero since the car came to a stop. When using the HIC formula the numbers were very realistic in comparison to actual values obtained by the groups in their research.
A short coming of the lesson was just the learning curve associated with new technology. This was my first experience with the Vernier LabQuest2 and the wireless accelerometers. The instructions for set up were easy to follow but I found that setting up the accelerometers to get the readings we wanted took a little bit of trial and error. I would definitely recommend that a teacher trying this for the first time spend some time after school getting things dialed in. I also had to consult the internet to find out how to export data from the LabQuest to excel so the students could estimate the area under the curve.
Below is the video I used. It walked me through step by step.
Another issue I had was finding all of the pieces to the track and the starter to launch the cars. Since we moved into a new building some of the items were misplaced. We wound up ordering a new starter because we could not find the old one. This caused a delay in the project by 3 days (not finding it earlier was definitely poor planning on my part.)