Science/6/Investigation and Experimentation 7.0 Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
a. Develop a hypothesis.
b. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.
c. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative statements about the relationships between variables.
d. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.
e. Recognize whether evidence is consistent with a proposed explanation.
f. Read a topographic map and a geologic map for evidence provided on the maps and construct and interpret a simple scale map.
g. Interpret events by sequence and time from natural phenomena (e.g., the relative ages of rocks and intrusions).
h. Identify changes in natural phenomena over time without manipulating the phenomena (e.g., a tree limb, a grove of trees, a stream, a hill slope).
Students will learn about the role of scientific research in the design of competition suits for athletes in the Winter Olympics. Students will explore and research the concept of aerodynamics, and conduct their own scientific experiment to gain an understanding of this concept.
Students will learn about the role of scientific research in the design of competition suits for athletes in the Winter Olympics. Students will explore and research the concept of aerodynamics and conduct their own scientific experiment to gain an understanding of this concept.
Students will be able to:
Ask scientific questions
Explore the concept of aerodynamics though observation, research, and experimentation.
Control variables, record observations, collect data, and formulate a conclusion about their experiment.
different kinds of paper (newspaper, white copy paper, construction paper, etc.),
measuring tape (or yard sticks)
computer(s) with access to the Internet (or books and other resources with ideas and information on airplane design and aerodynamics) and
a copy of the worksheet, “Experiment Worksheet: Awesome Aerodynamics”.
Anticipatory Set (Lead-in):
Throw a beach ball toward the back of the room. (This will certainly get students’ attention!) Next, throw a Frisbee in the same direction. Ask students which of the two went further. (The Frisbee) Ask students to think about why the Frisbee went further thaen the beach ball. Write the observations and ideas of students on the board. If the term is not brought up, write the word aerodynamic on the board and tell students that the Frisbee, because of its design, is more aerodynamic than a beach ball. Explain that in their lesson today, students will learn how aerodynamics affect people, in particular athletes in the Winter Olympics. View The NBC Learn Video: Competition Suits
Lesson Plan Procedure:
Tell students that they are going to review a few of the main concepts, which were presented The NBC Learn Video: Competition Suits.
Ask students to explain what the phrase “Clothes make the athletes” means? Discuss answers, which will vary but should include the concept of the right kind of clothes helping the athlete do his/her best at their sport, and in many cases, during the Winter Olympics, help them move faster.
Review with students several factors that make competition suits unique and helpful to athletes. Remind them that because of science and the ability to do research, scientists are actually helping athletes win races. Ask students to describe one way that scientific research is improving the clothes that athletes wear. Discuss possible answers which might include the idea that scientists have discovered ways to make material lighter, and stronger, and more aerodynamic.
Ask students what the relationship is between the clothes that athletes wear and being aerodynamic. Discuss possible answers which should include the concept that athletes are trying to be as aerodynamic as possible, and they are trying to make it so that the air grabs on their clothing as little as possible so that they can just easily move through that air.
Remind students that in the video, it was stated that drag is the enemy of speed. Ask students to think about the role that drag plays in sports. Ask students why athletes have to overcome drag if they are going to do well in sliding sports and speed skating. Discuss possible answers which will vary but should include the idea that these types of athletes need to do whatever they can to go faster and be more aerodynamic.
Point out that researchers have experimented with many ways to make material work for the athlete instead of against the athlete with the goal of causing the air to flow around the athlete very smoothly.
Tell students that they are going to be able to be a researcher in the activity that they are going to do next. Like any effective researcher, students must be able to ask meaningful questions and conduct careful experiments. Explain that students are going to have the opportunity to create the most aerodynamic paper airplane that they can design as a team. The goal of this activity is to design and create a paper airplane, using only the materials that are made available to them, that will move straighter, faster, and farther than any other team’s airplane.
After assigning students to groups, tell students that the first step of their experiment will be to use regular white copy paper to make their first airplane, which will be known as their “control” airplane. After students make their control airplane they should fill in the data on their worksheet, “Experiment Worksheet: Awesome Aerodynamics!”
Students should then conduct their first flight and record the data.
Based on what they have observed during the first flight of their control airplane, students should now brainstorm and research ways to make their airplane go straighter, farther, and faster.
Remind students that every change that they make from their control airplane is a variable. They should only change one variable at a time. After a variable has been changed, the new airplane must be flown, with the data completed on their worksheet. The control airplane should not be changed. It should be set aside so that students can have it to compare with their new and/or changed models.
Give students a deadline as to when they should have their final model completed. When the time comes, tell students to stop. Each group may then have the opportunity to fly their model to find out which group made the airplane that was able to fly the straightest path, went the farthest, and was the fastest. This will require careful measurements, class discussion, and consensus as to how to decide which model is the winning model.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
Tell students that they should be proud of all their hard work in working together as a group of researchers. Ask students what their work with the airplane design had in common with the work that the researchers in the video did with clothes design for athletes. Discuss answers. Point out, if it is not mentioned, that both types of research involved making a product more efficient and effective at moving through the air. Ask each group to share the variables that they changed before they selected their final design. Remind each group to complete the worksheet by summarizing how their model did as compared to the other airplane models in the room, and what they would try differently next time to improve their model.
Assessments & notes
Plan for Independent Practice:
Tell students that they are going to create a poster about the experiment they did with the airplanes. They should list on their poster the following components:
Purpose of the Experiment,
Steps in Their Procedure,
Tell students that they are going to display their posters, along with their airplane models, so that other classes may come and see them.
Assessment Based on Objectives:
Begin the next day’s lesson with the quiz titled, “Awesome Aerodynamics!”. (See attached quiz)
Possible Connections to Other Subjects:
Math/Technology: Create a spreadsheet on the computer to enter data from the experiment. Create graphs to show progress and results of the experiment.
Language Arts/Art: Write and Illustrateillustrate a booklet on tips and techniques on creating an aerodynamic model paper airplane.
Social Studies/History: Research the history of flight.
Art: Draw and describe your own ideas about the type of clothes Olympic athletes should wear to improve their overall performance.