Saturday, October 14, 2017

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season: Design Challenge

This hurricane season has done a dandy on us all, and we still have a month and a half to go. Between Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we've all gotten an education on hurricanes this year!

Given the degree to which hurricanes have been on all our minds and in the media, I decided a "Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season" design challenge was just what my 4th and 5th grade Digital Design Process elective needed.

I found this "Building From Hurricanes: Engineering Design Challenge" from NASA's Precipitation Education website. That site is laid out well & has several printable lesson files that you will want to be sure to print to help guide your students. With some minor tweaks (most notably: trading the tennis balls to these cute Dollar Store "emoji guys"), we were set.

Using Buncee, I created this slide show to set the stage and intention of the challenge.

30 minutes.
Teamwork & collaboration.
Emoji guys for the win.
Shelter-building on all sides.

We all gathered around to watch as we worked through the 3 fan speeds (now known as "Category 1," "Category 2," and "Category 3" hurricanes), then moved the fan closer to the structures for a more direct hit for a Category 4 & Category 5 hurricane.  This brief snippet tells the whole story on what a success this whole activity was!

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season Design Challenge Fan Testing from Vicki Dabrowka on Vimeo.

Presentation created in Buncee and can be found at; Photos from my camera. Video from

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