Sensemaking is actively trying to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering). Students do science and engineering through the science and engineering practices. Engaging in these practices necessitates that students be part of a learning community to be able to share ideas, evaluate competing ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus. Whether this community of learners is made up of classmates or family members, students and adults build and refine science and engineering knowledge together.
Elementary students as scientists investigate successful and unsuccessful model rocket flight paths, forces and motion, and weather to answer the following driving question: How can forces exerted by weather conditions affect the flight path of our model rocket? Students use their existing ideas about forces and motion to develop models explaining a successful model rocket flight path phenomenon. In discussing their models, students begin to consider what factors could make a rocket flight path less successful. Students’ questions and ideas motivate them to learn more about how different types of weather can exert a force on a rocket during its flight path. Students obtain and evaluate information about the force exerted by the wind in order to develop a class consensus model explaining how forces exerted by weather conditions can affect the flight path of a model rocket.
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Per Small Group (2 to 4 students)