marie colgan
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play dough frog

Postby marie colgan » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:27 am

My grandson is using the above experiment in a science fair project. He is in the 5th grade. Having a hard time determining what to show in a data analysis and graph. Any suggestions?

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Re: play dough frog

Postby bfinio » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:31 pm

Hi Marie,

There is a note at the top of the Procedure tab for this project about the Engineering Design Process: ... #procedure

In short, the engineering design process is a bit different from the usual Scientific Method (which frequently ends in students making a graph of some sort). The engineering design process is more about coming up with a design for something (in this case, a play dough animal of some sort with LEDs) and then trying to test it, build it, and get it to work. Usually this requires multiple attempts because things rarely work perfectly on the first try. Documenting the engineering design process is a little different - I would encourage your grandson to sketch out his designs on paper first, take pictures of his resulting creations, and make notes about what did and didn't work. He might also want to check with his teacher or the fair organizers to see if they have any rules about documentation for engineering projects.

I hope that helps.



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Re: play dough frog

Postby bradleyshanrock-solberg » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:35 pm

Engineering projects (at least at my Science Fair) are judged based on whether the design could accomplish the objective if built properly, and also whether it was built successfully (and actually demonstrated that it could performed the objective).

As an example, I had a second grade student make a chicken coop that would cause any egg laid to automatically roll into a basket, so he wouldn't have to reach in and risk getting pecked by chickens. It was an extremely good design, especially for the grade level, and while he got some help building it from his family, most of it was his own work as well and he was able to fully explain the design choices and how he arrived at them.

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