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Sinking and floating
High and dry: Protecting objects on a floating platform
This Engineering Challenge is introduced to the pupils through a series of five lessons, which are briefly described:
The Preparatory lesson is aimed at raising awareness of how engineering contributes to our daily lives in ways that are not always obvious.
Lesson 1 introduces the engineering problem. Here is a short description of the story.
Two children, Hronis and Helen, who live on a Greek island, spend most of their summer time on a rock island located across a small and isolated beach. The rock island is easily accessible, which means that children can swim there through shallow waters, so they don’t have to use a boat. However, the two children fac a small problem. Usually, when they go there, they want to carry items with them , such as books and magazines, mp3 players, video games, and some refreshments which they do not want to get wet. Therefore, they wish to make a floating construction in order to carry all the items with them .
The “Ask” element of the Engineering Design Process (EDP) is introduced in Lesson 2, which leads to an investigation of sinking and floating through setting and answering questions, defining variables, making predictions and conducting experiments. Concepts such as force, volume, weight are discussed in this lesson.
The Lesson 3 invites pupils to apply the five steps of the Engineering Design Process (EDP) in order to solve the problem. In this phase, pupils use their scientific knowledge about floating and sinking which they gained in Lesson Two. They use suggested materials to construct a small floating platform so as is to carry objects that should not get wet.
In Lesson 4 pupils reflect on how they worked and applied the Engineering Design Process (EDP). They present their work in the form of a poster which will hang on the wall of the class. Finally, the teacher makes wider connections with science and engineering by discussing with the pupils how ships and submarines actually work.