Ready, Aim, Laser

  • 90 minutes
  • 6-8 Grade
  • Lesson

Students will discuss how light is affected by the placement of mirrors. In groups, students will design and build a system of mirrors to direct a laser pointer to hit a target or a series of targets. Groups will be given the opportunity to test and re-design their initial system, prior to the final test. Through this process, students will learn to control and direct the movement of energy and to make changes to their designs in order to reach a goal.

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Popsicle Stick Bridge

  • 90 minutes
  • 6-8 Grade
  • Lesson

Students will be building a bridge that spans two wooden blocks using Popsicle® sticks, without any adhesive. Students will work in groups and follow the guidelines as specified in the instructions. Students will relate the process of building their bridge to real world situations in which these structures are developed. Students will develop the skills to analyze designs, work through difficulties, and make changes.

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Pegboard Pinball

  • 90 minutes
  • 6-8 Grade
  • Lesson

Students will build a ramp (using given materials) that will cause a marble to take the longest time to roll down the incline. Students will be able to see how different physical materials can impede or slow a marble's movement. Students will brainstorm ideas and change their products based on test trials. This process will help students understand the importance of evaluating products to ensure they are meeting the task's purpose. Students will compare and contrast the different methods used in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. Students will think about how alternate materials would have affected the trajectory of the marble.

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