Designing Cleaner Air

By Bang Ha, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • PreK-1

Category

  • Architecture

Subject Area

  • Science

Lesson Time

150 minutes (three 50 minute classes)

Introduction

This will serve as one of the introductory activities to a unit on Air Pollution. The purpose of this unit in general is to teach students about the periodic table, properties of elements, the octet rule and properties of chemical bonding through an anchoring event about air pollution. The ultimate goal is for students to understand how chemical bonding in different molecules relates to harmful air pollution.

National Standards

HS-PS1-1.   Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, and reactions with oxygen.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to main group elements. Assessment does not include quantitative understanding of ionization energy beyond relative trends.] HS-PS1-1.   Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms. PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
  • Each atom has a charged substructure consisting of a nucleus, which is made of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons.
  • The periodic table orders elements horizontally by the number of protons in the atom’s nucleus and places those with similar chemical properties in columns. The repeating patterns of this table reflect patterns of outer electron states.
[Clarification Statement: Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, and reactions with oxygen.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to main group elements. Assessment does not include quantitative understanding of ionization energy beyond relative trends.]

Objectives

Students will be able to:
  • Brainstorm effectively in groups in order to generate solutions to real-world problems.
  • Prototype a solution to a real-world problem.
  • Communicate their ideas and solutions effectively to an audience.
  • Provide feedback on other classmates’ design solutions.

Resources

  • Document Camera
  • Group Brainstorm Checklist (adapted from Cooper Hewitt DICN slides)

Materials

12 Design in the classroom kits (for 12 groups)

Vocabulary

None

Procedures

  1. On day 1, Students work in groups of 3-4. Each team receives a different challenge card.  Each team’s job is to brainstorm as many ideas as they can using words and drawings. Students categorize their ideas as wild, darling or practical ideas (50 min).
  2. On Day 2, teams prototype one of their ideas and present the prototype to the class. Students complete a prototype planning sheet to better organize their thoughts around the solution they came up with. After completing the worksheet, teams receive their prototyping materials. (50 min)
  3. On day 3, after students finish building their prototypes, teams present their prototype to the class. The audience provides feedback and asks questions. (5o min)

Assessment

  1. I use the peer feedback post-its (see slides) as a primary source to determine if the students successfully learned the objectives of the lesson.
  2. The main form of assessment comes from listening in on student presentations and taking notes on it.
  3. Differentiation: Present different groups with higher or lower level challenge cards depending on the skill level of the group.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students can research into whether or not their communities have been addressing the issue of air pollution, how much of a problem it is considered to be, and maybe even brainstorm ways in which they themselves can use their own agency to be more proactive about ensuring cleaner air for their communities.

Teacher Reflection

I would have the students spend less time worrying about categorizing ideas, and have them focus more on quantity/volume. Meaning, I would have students first generate as many ideas as possible (let’s say a goal of 30) in a timespan of about 20 minutes, then I would introduce the different idea category types and have them categorize their ideas accordingly.

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