Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
Boat Float Engineering Design, is a STEAM middle school lesson in which students apply engineering design strategies, develop teamwork skills and develop an experiential base for further exploration of Archimedes Principle. This lesson, which has been tested in multiple scenarios from graduate engineering education classes to out of school middle school girl STEAM programming, is an inquiry-based lesson. The anticipatory set begins with students identifying prior knowledge of ship failures, including the Titanic, and prior knowledge of the need for empathy in engineering design. This engaging discussion cascades into an engineering design synopsis in which learners must construct a floatation device which will hold a person, which is modeled as a 5-pound bag of flour. The design constraints include only the use of recyclable materials for constructing the boat-float. Empathy is an important project focus as the learners name their bag of flour and create a story about their “passenger” in their boat. This personal connection allows learners to strengthen their connection to empathy in engineering through reflection and theorize the necessity of understanding the “who” component of engineering design. Another key aspect of this activity is the teamwork and collaboration skills that learners must utilize to be successful. Teams of three to four students have time constraints for planning, constructing, and testing their “boats.” Improvements in iterations must be discussed and justified. Mature learning groups can use this experiential learning to launch into Archimedes Principle and sophisticated boat design principles.
Schumacher, K., & Besser, D., & Thomas, A. (2020, June), Boat Float Engineering Design (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34222
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015