By Christian Black-Storm, MYP Integrated Sciences Teacher
The 6th graders were given a challenge by the infamous mini golf entrepreneurs from “Rollin’ and Holin’ Ltd”. Each student was to use the engineering design process to design a sketch of a mini golf course to be presented and explained for their fellow students in science.The students went on a research field trip to Marvels Mini Golf in Dzorwulu to collect data and ideas for their own projects.
The golf course itself had to follow certain guidelines such as length, width, obstacles, recycled materials, change of direction and surfaces. The students presented their ideas to each other and voted as a class for the best six holes that we wanted to improve and create in full size. (As a grade we ended up with an impressive 18 holes). Using their original plan, the students created, tested and improved their courses using only recycled materials, box cutters, scissors, glue guns and tape.
Asking the students about the process they answered:
- “Our products were diverse, some had focused on simple and fun designs, others on more complicated and quirky designs.”
- “Creating the courses was a challenging process, both in terms of sticking to the plan but also collaborating with others seemed challenging at times.”
- “It looked so much better on paper.”
- “Next time I will follow the steps more precisely; we kept on adding more stuff.”
The final test was to let others play on their courses. We invited the 2nd graders to come and try them out. The 6th graders acted as mentors, explaining the science behind using a golf club and applying forces to a ball. Terms such as balanced, unbalanced forces, acceleration, speed, friction, mass and inertia were heard as the MYP students taught the PYP second graders about forces and motion.
Here are some reflection statements from the students:
- “Mission accomplished; that was successful.”
- “It got a bit tiring explaining the same terms over and over again.”
- “It made sense explaining the science as they were doing it.”
- “I am not sure how much they understood.”
- “Next time we should make a before and after quiz, just to check if they have learned something.”
Don’t just tell me how it’s done. Let me try.