What you will do
- Prepare materials and copies.
- Lead brainstorm and project introduction.
What students will do
1. After brainstorming, students design their dome on the Dome Blueprint.
Provide student groups with the dome design blueprint sheet and ask them to sketch their dome design. It is up to the teacher’s discretion as to how to divide students into groups but this project lends itself well to including all students and homogenous grouping could support all students. Allow students a chance to share out their blueprint designs with the class. This will give students a chance to see each other’s ideas. If you feel that students want to, allow them to revise their designs.
2. Students share out their designs and, based on peer’s designs, revise if needed.
Give students the materials planning sheet and display the available materials. Students can investigate materials before choosing which ones they are going to use, however, for management’s sake, require that students provide you a list of materials and you will distribute them. You can role-play as a store manager and require “shopping lists” to encourage student buy-in to the procedure.
3. Students select materials and construct dome.
Students should be given a considerable amount of time to construct their dome. Ensure that you have somewhere safe to store all of the construction projects if you are going to be taking more than one class period. Allow students to present their domes to the class before testing as the testing may destroy some of the domes. You may choose presentations to be short and informal or require groups to present their models as representatives of contracting companies competing to construct the actual building.
4. Students present finished domes and test to see if they support a 120g weight.
Groups test to see if their domes support the 120g weights. After testing, clean up or dismantle domes.
5. The class as a whole compiles the test results and discusses.
As a class, review which domes were successful at supporting the weights. Lead the class in assessing the materials used, the dome design and the dome construction. This is a crucial point of the lesson. Students will be building their understanding of structure and function as well as their understanding of building materials, cost and the process of design, construction and review. Once you have assessed and organized all the knowledge accrued from the activity, have students get back together with their groups to prepare their reflection and evaluation report.
6. Students complete Dome Design Student Handout.
Assign the handout as an informal homework assignment or collect it as a separate project and provide groups time to prepare professional reports.