Through this lesson, students will be able to:
As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:
There are many ways to sort the coins. It's best to let the students come up with their own solutions which will also expose them to the processes of negotiation and teamwork -- all of which are part of the everyday life of an engineer.
A ramp may be used with holes just larger than each coin cut into a cardboard or wood base -- the smaller holes are at the top so that the smaller coins are sorted out first. In this method, the angle of the ramp will determine if the coins move down at a slow enough speed to be caught in the holes (too close to vertical will cause the coins to move too fast to be caught in the holes; too horizontal a slope will cause the coins to get caught and not move down).
Another method is using gravity by setting up a series of hanging plastic or paper plates, precut with holes for coins to fall through. In this system the larger coin holes will be in the top plates, with the smallest at the bottom. By shaking gently, or angling the plates so the coins fall from one to the next, the coins will sort themselves through.
If you are interested in learning how to make your own rubric for this or other lessons, you may be interested in watching the How to Make a Rubric video below.
These reflective questions will help assess student understanding:
This lesson was originally created for TryEngineering by IEEE.
Copyright 2010-2012 Teachers TryScience