About the Author: Meredith Williams, an 8th grade science teacher at Freedom Middle School (Orlando, FL), specializes in integrating MimioSTEM solutions in her science instruction. To encourage her students to think critically and creatively about problems through science exploration, Williams incorporates a variety of 3D-printed manipulatives, so her students have something hands-on to observe, analyze, and form ideas around. Williams also regularly implements and provides feedback on MyStemKits lessons and activities, which she uses in conjunction with her 3D printer. In the coming months, she’ll share her and her students’ experiences using the MyStemKits STEM solution. In this lesson, Williams shares how she used the Gliders Kit.
Motion - Speed vs. Time
- MyStemKits kits: Gliders Kit
- 3D printer
Print small and large gliders in advance of the lesson
Grade level: 8
Objective: Students will design an investigation using their knowledge of motion such as Newton’s Laws of Motion. They are expected to record data on graphs.
Time frame: Three class periods
Supplies per group of 3-4 students
- Choice of small and large gliders, with and without ailerons
Supplies as requested by groups:
- Meter sticks
- Measuring tape
- Plastic, wooden rulers
- Rubber bands in a variety of sizes and differing strengths
- Tin foil
Students were grouped into teams of three or four and given a choice of gliders – small, large, with ailerons, without ailerons. The objective was for groups to design an experimental investigation using their knowledge of motion, including Newton’s Law of Motion. Teams had freedom regarding how they were to design and conduct the investigation, leaving it as open-ended as possible. As evidence, students were expected to create a graph showing time vs. distance as part of their data.
Teams were creative in their testing choices. For example, one team tested the rubber bands used rather than the gliders. The team changed the thickness and size of rubber band in order to see if that mattered when launching the glider.
Results: From a teacher’s point of view, I was so proud of the students and their inquiry and research process. I was impressed by the unique differences between how each team executed this experiment. Students were given a task with the freedom to choose how to accomplish it – their level of engagement was greatly increased. Overall, this was a fantastic project and an excellent learning experience for the students (and teacher)!
To learn more about the Gliders Kit, including a free trial of the award-winning MyStemKits standards-aligned lessons, go to www.boxlight.com/mystemkits.