2 During this unit you are going to: Explore how an idea becomes an invention.Make an invention that will help a small child do something at home.It is important that the students are aware of what the unit is about. This allows them an opportunity to get excited about inventing as well gives them an opportunity to start thinking about their final invention.After you read the first point, list some of the activities the students will be participating in.The Junk Box Inventions – making inventions out of junk to assist you in making a household task more interestingInvention Timeline – with a list of inventions the class together must guess when inventions were invented.The Invention Museum – bring an invention from home and explore how it changed the way your family livesRead the final point.Make sure the students understand the difference between a prototype and working model. A model is a graphic, mathematical or physical representation of an object or design. A prototype is a full scale working model used to test a design concept by making actual observations and necessary adjustments.and add:The culminating activity will be the “Kids Better Living Show” where each group will have an opportunity to have their invention tested by younger students.
3 Junk Box InventionsMake a list of 5 things you do not like to do at home.Choose one of the things from the list.Invent something to make it better.Describe your invention to the class.Create a list…Students may need some examples to help them create their lists, ie. cleaning your room or doing the dishes.Encourage the students to choose the item they dislike the most, the students may have more fun and be more creative if they choose the task they would in real life like to make more interesting.How could you make it more interesting……Tell the students that using the material they are given they have to construct something that would make that job more interesting. After you give the box to each group tell them you are going to give them 10 minutes to look at the items in the box and share ideas as to what they could create to help make the task they choose more interesting. When the ten minutes is up, tell the students they must start constructing their invention. Putting time limits on the students will guide the process and force groups to keep on task.Some suggestions for putting in the boxes are: construction paper, paper towel towel rolls, buttons, yarn, dowel pieces, toilet paper rolls, string, saran wrap, aluminum foil, broken toy pieces, foam meat trays, egg cartons, empty boxes of different sizes, blocks of wood, thread spools, pieces of cardboard, uncooked macaroni noodles, paper cups, cotton balls, etc. Anything can be put in the boxes, the more materials the more creative the students can be. Many of these materials can also be used later for making the final working model of their invention for the “Kid’s Better Living Show”.
4 The Invention Timeline When was your invention invented? Tell the class the invention you were given.As a class, decide where each invention should be placed on a timeline.When was your invention invented?Make sure students understand that as a class they are to decide when the invention was invented. To assist the students in doing this make sure there is an area on the blackboard or bulletin board that has time periods marked on it. For example:Students should put tape on the back of their index card and tape it on the timeline when the class decides the invention was invented.When all the inventions are placed on the timeline, read the list of inventions with the dates. Ask the students if their invention is in the wrong place on the timeline to put it in the correct place after hearing the date.
5 Household InventionsAs a group, choose one of the objects on the handout “Household Inventions”.What would it be like if the invention never existed?As a group…..After the group has chosen one of the objects on the handout, ask the students to discuss the negative and positive things about the invention tell them that includes:how it impacted the society/communitywhat it does orwhat it is made ofIf students need an example, use the cell phone. Ask the students what are the negative point about a cell phone, for example, people do not pay attention to their driving when they are on the phone. A positive point about a cell phone is it can be used to get help when you have car trouble. With this example students should have an easier time identifying what are the positive and negative things about the invention.Ask each group to choose someone to share the group’s ideas with the classWhat would it be….Ask each student to list on a piece of chart paper what would be different if that particular invention did not exist. With some of the items on the list, students will should be creative, but there are some for example like the refrigerator. Students should easily identify if we did not have refrigerator’s how it would effect the way we purchase food and how food would be stored. If students are stuck give them the refrigerator example. Ask each group to choose someone to present their ideas to the class.
6 Profile of an Inventor Lets learn some more! Discussion QuestionsWhat characteristics did your inventor have?Are they important for all inventors?What traits should you use for your invention?What are some things the inventors should have done differently?
7 Discussion Why were these things invented? Invention MuseumChoose your favorite invention from the “Household Invention” list. Bring it or a picture of it to class.Put your invention or picture in the museum display.Discussion Why were these things invented?Was there a special need or opportunity to invent them? Why is inventing so important?Choose five…..Put students in groups of 2-3 depending on the size of the class.Give students the worksheets “Household Inventions” and “Inventions that Changed the Household”. Tell the students to write each invention in the space provided on the worksheet. Make sure that each student has their own worksheets but allow them to work as a group.Identify a need…..You make need to use an example for this so that the students understand what they are to record. Choose one of the items on the “Household Inventions” list. For example, a dishwasher. Ask the student to identify the need that is being met by this invention. Then ask them to write their answer in the space provided on the worksheet, “Inventions that Changed the Household!”DiscussionWhy do we invent things? Begin with one of your own answers:help us complete a task – lawn mower, cuts grassto meet a need – an alarm clock – to make sure we get up on time.Record the students answers on a piece of chart paper.Generate a class discussion on why inventing is so important.
8 Inventors who I.N.V.E.N.T. Investigate the world around them Notice different needsVisualize creative solutionsExplore many different ideasNever give upTest their solutions.It is important that students realize that inventors possess certain characteristics.Read through each of the characteristics listed. Ask the students if they see any similarities from the characteristics an inventor possesses to the engineer design process. Make a point of telling the students that the engineer design process is one of many different methods that can be used to create a solution to a problem.Tell the students that while they are developing a solution to the challenge or if they get stumped with where they are at in the inventing process that they should read through this list.Do the virtual mind walk activity with the students.Ask students to remember what they saw or felt during the virtual mind walk and create a list of household tasks that are difficult for a small child.
9 Design ChallengeDesign and construct a model of a product that will assist a small child in doing a household task.Remember, design the gadget so that people with different physical abilities can use it too.
10 Engineering Design Process Explore IdeasPlan & DevelopTest & EvaluatePresent the SolutionIdentify a ChallengeEngineeringDesignProcess
11 Step 1 – Identify a challenge Create a list of things at home that are difficult to do as a small child
12 Step 2 – Explore Ideas Things to consider while exploring ideas: Who will use it.How big should it be.What materials can be used etc.Recap what you did in Step one and that you are moving on to step 2.Make sure that students chose one of the tasks on their list before they move on.Tell the students they should generate four ideas for a device or gadget that will assist a young child to complete the task you chose.Students should reread the scenario and identify: who will use it, how big it should be and the materials that will be used to make it.Introduce the Inventor’s JournalWhen introducing the Inventor’s Journal, ask student to look at the handout. “Guidelines for an Inventor’s Journal”. Read through this handout with the students. Help them understand that it is important that they follow these guidelines during the development of their invention. Make sure that the students understand that it is like a daily journal that must have an entry for every time the group works on the invention. Each member of the group should take a turn at recording what the groups accomplishes doing that time, any obstacles that were encountered and how the group dealt with these challenges. Once a group has an idea in their Inventor’s Journal they must show it to you. The process will act as a “patent” and other groups will not be able to use the idea.√ Identify a challenge
13 Step 3 – Plan and Develop Draw a plan for your invention. Build your invention.Recap what should be accomplished up to this point in Step 1 and 2.You must emphasize to the students that the planning stage is very critical. They must try to generate as many different ideas as possible.Students must create a drawing of what the invention will look like. Thumbnail sketches are not acceptable, there must be dimensions as well as different perspectives so that a person can easily look at the drawing and know what the device looks like as well have an idea as to the size. You may want to collect examples of drawings from the high school drafting teacher so that students have an idea as to how to include dimensions. A suggestion is to ask if the high school teacher will allow some of the drafting students to come into your class to assist your students during the drawing process. Another suggestion would be to allow students to use a computer drawing software program to generate the drawing of their invention. Provide the students with graph paper and explain to them that although their drawings are not going to be as formal as the drafting examples you present them, each group should present a final drawing that is neat, legible and accurate.Before students begin to construct their device they must assign the group portfolio tasks to individuals in the group. Make sure each group shows you their list before they proceed. This gives you a chance to see how the students are working in their group. If someone is not completing their assigned task the whole group does not have to be penalized.√ Identify a challenge √ Explore Ideas
14 Step 4 – Testing and Evaluating When you have a working model of your invention follow these steps:Test – Does it work?Evaluate – Why does or doesn’t it work?Modify – To improve your invention.Make sure you write all your test, evaluate and modify information in your Inventor’s Journal.Recap to the students what should be accomplished up to this point in Steps 1-3.Explain to the students the difference between test, evaluate, and modify.In the Inventor’s Journal, ask students to record how they tested their invention, what happened when they did. Remind the students that they are suppose toAlso ask students to evaluate and record the performance of their invention. Did it break somewhere, was it hard for the person to use, is it too big etc.Looking at the recorded test and evaluate information how can the design be changed to make the invention better.Students should have an opportunity to work in the Inventor’s Lab to test their invention or to ask younger students to try it.Students must understand that it is extremely important to test their invention and if they do not take the time to test it could have a big affect on the final grade if they do not.√ Identify a challenge √ Explore Ideas √ Plan and Develop
15 Step 5 – Presenting the Solution Turn In a group portfolio.Present your working model at the “Kids Better Living Home Show.”Recap what should be accomplished up to this point in steps 1-4.Before the “Kid’s Better Living Show” it is important that each of the items listed are complete.Tell the groups that are done that they can begin thinking about how they are going to demonstrate their invention to the elementary students. The younger students should have a chance to try the invention as well fill out the survey.√ Identify a challenge √ Explore Ideas √ Plan and Develop √ Testing and Evaluating
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