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 patterns in local weather and climate data to answer the following driving question: How can we predict and measure weather conditions at our launch site to recommend a safe launch date? Students compare their recollections of the weather at specific times of the year with weather predictions and weather and climate data. Students consider the importance of accurate weather forecasts and how to ensure they have accurate local weather data on the day of their launch. Students learn how weather forecasts are made and figure out how to measure wind speed and cloud cover in preparation for launching their model rockets. Finally, students use all the information and data they encountered in Lessons 1 and 2 to make a recommendation about the safest time of year to launch a model rocket in their area.
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Per Small Group (2 to 4 students)