This is a activity about applying the scientific method to a design challenge. Learners will design and build a platform that will be placed on a heat source. The platform is expected to serve as an insulator for a cube of gelatin. The goal is to keep the inside temperature of the gelatin cube as cool as possible. Materials cost will vary, depending on materials chosen by group (within budget set by the teacher). Ties are made to the Mercury MESSENGER mission. Note: the student guide starts on p. 17 of the PDF.


    Education Levels:

    • Grade 1
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 6
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
    • Grade 10
    • Grade 11
    • Grade 12


    Informal Education,Engineering and technology:Aircraft, probes, satellites and/or spacecraft,Physical sciences:Energy,Middle School,NSDL,Upper Elementary,Physical sciences:Heat and thermodynamics,Grade 5,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-115,Planetary Science,The nature of technology:The design process,Engineering,Elementary School,Physical sciences:States of matter,Vocational/Professional Development Education,MESSENGER,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140407123650347T,Technology,Physics



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