SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 3 – Creative Contraptions (Ms. Tyson) (Rising 1st/2nd)
“What is a system?” we asked ourselves again today. Could we identify systems in the real world? We weren’t completely sure, so we decided to create a chart that showed the generalizations/criteria about systems, and examples and non-examples of systems. After talking in small groups, we realized that systems are everywhere, including water cycle, solar system, plants, human bodies, and more. We also addressed a misconception we had that only living things could be systems, so we included buildings. By identifying non-examples, such as pencils and paper, we could better understand what a system is and how to recognize it.
After reading the book, Click, and more stories about Mistakes That Worked, we were ready to practice the inventor’s process through flexible brainstorming. We went back to cars, and brainstormed three questions: What problems could go wrong with cars? What are other ways to use cars besides driving, and What are some new ways a car could be changed or re-designed? Some of our new ideas were: Wings on cars to fly, Transform a car into a sub, Touch screen driving, Self- re-filling gas tank, Use trash in the car to burn and make gas, never-ending candy dispensing car, and car made out of money. Next, we each chose an idea from anything on the list and we designed our innovative car idea and presented to our classmates. We really got good at our flexible brainstorming!
So what is this thing called a Simple Machine? What is it? Why are they called Simple Machines? Who invented simple machines? What do simple machines do? How many pieces make up a simple machine? Do simple machines do simple things? We wondered about all of these things, so we set out to investigate and learn more just as a scientist would do proceed. We explored items that are simple machines hands-on (hammer, screw, inclined plane, doorstop, and two pails tied together be handles to raise and lower items. We conducted an experiment to determine which item was easier to pull from a board, either a nail or a screw, and the results surprised us! Tomorrow we will begin designing our own creative contraption that solves a real world problem, that we individually identify and want to solve, using a modified or changed simple or complex machine. Can’t wait to begin!