Grade 3 Roller Coaster Inquiry

We started off by meeting with Ms. Pennarun & Mrs. Wadsworth to discuss the expectations, big ideas and learning goals in the Grade 3 curriculum.

We sparked the students' interest by having them experience a virtual roller coaster through Google Cardboard.

Students discussed and recorded their ideas about Roller Coasters.

Then Mrs. Augot and Mrs. Lagerquist planned out the mini challenges.

After each challenge their was a video reflection on flipgrid or seesaw.

Challenge #1: Pipe cleaner Structure

Students explored Strength & Stability while creating a structure made only of pipe cleaners.

Challenge #2: Mystery Bag Structure

Students were given a bag of materials and they had to create the highest structure they could while still maintaining the strength and stability.

We were surprised to see many students use the bag that the materials came in as part of their structure.

Challenge #3: Newspaper Stool

Students had to create a stool made out of newspaper that was strong enough to hold their teachers.

One reflection on the newspaper stool challenge:

Challenge #4: Roller Coaster Online Designer & Roller Coaster Research

Half of the students used a Roller Coaster Simulator online to test out different coaster designs while the other half did research about roller coasters then they switched.

Challenge #5: Building with K'Nex & LittleBits

Half of the students experimented with creating a chain mechanism with the K'Nex and the other half explored circuits with LittleBits then they switched.

Hangout with an Engineer:

Students come up with questions for our Google Hangout with an engineer.

Thanks to Lisa Crowfoot (the Roller Coaster Engineer) for answering all of our questions.

It was such an amazing experience connecting with her.

Starting to build....

Problem solving and modifying their design as they build.

Some finished Roller Coasters - all unique in their design and execution.

Then Students recorded their reflections on a Padlet.

What worked well? What was challenging? & What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

Some of the Curriculum Ties:

Science - Structures & Mechanisms:

-assess the importance of form, function, strength, and stability in structures through time

-investigate strong and stable structures to determine how their design and materials enable them to perform their load-bearing function

-demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of structure, strength, and stability and the factors that affect them.

Science - Matter & Energy:

-investigate devices that use forces to create controlled movement

-demonstrate an understanding of how forces cause movement and changes in movement

Math - Geometry & Spatial Sense:

-identify and describe the locations and movements of shapes and objects

Math - Data Management & Probability:

-predict and investigate the frequency of a specific outcome in a simple probability experiment

Language - Oral Communication

-use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes

Language - Reading

-read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning

-use knowledge of words and cueing systems to read fluently