Gummy Bear Launcher

Grade Level: 3-5Time: Two or three 45 minute periods

Summary: Groups of students will brainstorm, design, and build a Gummy Bear launcher.

Materials: Gummy Bear

Design Handout

Ruler

Assorted common items: plastic spoon, small block, measuring tape (metric), masking tape, heavy cardboard, scissors, paper clip, craft sticks, calculator, rubber bands

S3CS1. Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.

a. Keep records of investigations and observations and do not alter the records later.

b. Offer reasons for findings and consider reasons suggested by others.

c. Take responsibility for understanding the importance of being safety conscious.

S3CS2. Students will have the computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations.

a. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers mentally, on paper, and with a calculator.

b. Use commonly encountered fractions – halves, thirds, and fourths (but not sixths, sevenths, and so on) – in scientific calculations.

c. Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities, such as length, weight, or time, are reasonable answers to scientific problems by comparing them to typical values.

S3CS3. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating objects in scientific activities utilizing safe laboratory procedures.

a. Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.

S3CS4. Students will use ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters.

a. Observe and describe how parts influence one another in things with many parts.

b. Use geometric figures, number sequences, graphs, diagrams, sketches, number lines, maps, and stories to represent corresponding features of objects, events, and processes in the real world.

S3CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly.

a. Write instructions that others can follow in carrying out a scientific procedure.

b. Make sketches to aid in explaining scientific procedures or ideas.

c. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events.

MCC.3.MD.4 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units – whole numbers, halves, or quarters.

S4CS1. Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.

a. Keep records of investigations and observations and do not alter the records later.

S4CS2. Students will have the computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations.

a. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers mentally, on paper, and with a calculator.

b. Use fractions and decimals, and translate between decimals and commonly encountered fractions – halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, tenths, and hundredths (but not sixths, sevenths, and so on) – in scientific calculations.

c. Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities, such as length, area, volume, weight, or time, are reasonable answers to scientific problems by comparing them to typical values.

S4CS3. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating objects in scientific activities utilizing safe laboratory procedures.

a. Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.

S4CS4. Students will use ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters.

a. Observe and describe how parts influence one another in things with many parts.

b. Use geometric figures, number sequences, graphs, diagrams, sketches, number lines, maps, and stories to represent corresponding features of objects, events, and processes in the real world. Identify ways in which the representations do not match their original counterparts.

c. Identify patterns of change in things—such as steady, repetitive, or irregular change—using records, tables, or graphs of measurements where appropriate.

S4CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly.

a. Write instructions that others can follow in carrying out a scientific procedure.

b. Make sketches to aid in explaining scientific procedures or ideas.

c. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events.

S4P3. Students will demonstrate the relationship between the application of a force and the resulting change in position and motion on an object.

a. Identify simple machines and explain their uses (lever, pulley, wedge, inclined plane, screw, wheel and axle).

b. Using different size objects, observe how force affects speed and motion.

c. Explain what happens to the speed or direction of an object when a greater force than the initial one is applied.

d. Demonstrate the effect of gravitational force on the motion of an object.

MCC.4.MD.1 Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two-column table

S5CS1. Students will be aware of the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works.

a. Keep records of investigations and observations and do not alter the records later.

b. Carefully distinguish observations from ideas and speculation aboutthose observations.

S5CS2. Students will have the computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations.

a. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers mentally, on paper, and with a calculator.

b. Use fractions and decimals, and translate between decimals and commonly encountered fractions – halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, tenths, and hundredths (but not sixths, sevenths, and so on) – in scientific calculations.

S5CS3. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating objects in scientific activities.

a. Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.

S5CS4. Students will use ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters.

a. Observe and describe how parts influence one another in things with many parts.

b. Use geometric figures, number sequences, graphs, diagrams, sketches, number lines, maps, and stories to represent corresponding features of objects, events, and processes in the real world. Identify ways in which the representations do not match their original counterparts.

c. Identify patterns of change in things—such as steady, repetitive, or irregular change—using records, tables, or graphs of measurements where appropriate.

S5CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly.

a. Write instructions that others can follow in carrying out a scientific procedure.

b. Make sketches to aid in explaining scientific procedures or ideas.

c. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events.

S5P1. Students will verify that an object is the sum of its parts.

a. Demonstrate that the mass of an object is equal to the sum of its parts by manipulating and measuring different objects made of various parts.

CCGPS.5.OA.3 Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.

Teacher Notes:

Activate students by asking them how objects fly. Point out that some living things fly and others do not. In a similar way, some nonliving things fly and others don’t. Talk about the energy that is required to make a nonliving object fly. Relate this idea to a slingshotwhich can make a pebble or marble fly. What is the source of energy in a slingshot. Ask students for other examples of nonliving, flying objects.

In this activity, students are asked to help a Gummy Bearfly. Gummy Bears are nonliving and not designed for flying. However, with the right launcher and a little energy from students, they can do so.

When students are brainstorming their designs for a Gummy Bear launcher, tell them that there are limits or constraints that will guide their work. These constraints are:

Only the materials provided by the teacher can be used. (Point out that students do not have to use all of the materials.)

Time is limited. The teacher will determine how much time students can spend on this activity.

The Gummy Bear must be launched using the device that students create. It cannot be thrown.

The Gummy Bear launcher must hold two Gummy Bears.

In this activity, students are following the engineering design process. Research can be a part of this process and usually occurs before students start generating ideas. If you have an extra day, you could let students see how other launchers are built.

Discuss the importance of the type of work students will be doing today, which is designing a new piece of technology. Technology can very simply be described as anything that makes life easier or that facilitates a task. For example, the washing machine is technology because it enables users to get their clothes clean with little work. You might want to discuss this with students and ask them what kinds of technology have been developed for these tasks:

Measuring length

Traveling

Carrying books

To extend math skills, have students record their measurements to the exact centimeter, then convert the answers to meters, which requires the use of decimals.

Gummy Bear Launcher

Procedure:

Two best-friend Gummy Bears want to experience the joy of flying together, and they need your help. Can you design and build a device that will launch two Gummy Bears into the air so that they flyas far as possible? The team with the Gummy Bear Launcher that sends the gummy bear friends farthest is the winner.

2. You will follow the engineering design process to make this launcher. The steps of the process are:

To begin, state the problem to be solved on your Design Handout. The problem statement might be something like:

We are going to design a ______that will ______.

3. Individually, examine the materials available and think about how you could use those materials to make a Gummy Bear Launcher. (You are not required to use all of the materials.)

4. Share your design ideas with the group.

5. Using everyone’s ideas, determine the best way to build the launcher. Sketch the design plan on the Design Handout and list the materials you need. Have your teacher check your plans and materials list. You must get the teacher’s signature before you can go to the next step.

6. Send one member of the group pick up the materials needed to build your Gummy Bear Launcher.

7. Build the Gummy Bear Launcher.

8. Once the launcher is built, conduct a trial run to see if it works. Launch two Gummy Bear three times. After each launch, estimate the distance the Gummy Bear traveled and record your estimation in Data Table 1 on the Design Handout.

9. Measure the distance the bear traveled and record the measurement in Data Table1 on the Design Handout.

10. Evaluate the launcher to determine if there are any problems to be fixed or improvements to be made. If so, make a list of the necessary changes on the Design Handout, then make the changes to the launcher.

11. Retest the Gummy Bear Launcher again for three trials. Estimate and record distances traveled before taking new measurements and recording them in Data Table 2.

12. Present your finished launcher to the class.

13. Have a Gummy Bear Launcher contest and see which best-friend bears travel the farthest.

Extension:

14. Collect data during the contest on the classroom board.

15. Display the data in the bar graph.

16. Write a paragraph explaining any problems with the current design of your launcher and how you could improve it.

Name ______

Design Handout

1. State the problem to be solved: ______

______

2. Draw your design for the Gummy Bear Launcher

3. List the materials you plan to use to build a Gummy Bear Launcher

______

______

Data Table 1

Launch / Estimated Distance Traveled / Measured Distance Traveled
1st Launch
2nd Launch
3rd Launch

4. Changes to be made to the Gummy Bear Launcher:

______

______

______

Data Table 2

Launch / Estimated Distance Traveled / Measured Distance Traveled
1st Launch
2nd Launch
3rd Launch

Extension

Gummy Bear Launching Competition

Class Data

Name of Team / Distance Traveled

Explain any problems with the current design of your launcher and how you could improve it.

______

______

______

______

______

______

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