Design a Seeding Machine to Counteract Deforestation
- Explain the impacts of deforestation on climate change and biodiversity.
- Practice using the engineering design process to build a machine that fits specific design criteria and constraints.
- Evaluate competing design solutions based on the agreed-upon design criteria.
Forests are the green lung of the Earth and home to millions of different plant, fungi, animal, and bacteria species. Unfortunately, today many forests are threatened by deforestation, which causes significant biodiversity loss. Ongoing reforestation efforts across the world intend to counteract the effects of deforestation. As planting trees by hand does not scale well, machines on the ground, as well as flying drones have been developed to help plant tree seedlings or seeds. In this lesson, students will be challenged to design and build their own miniature seeding machine that will place seeds on a grid in a specific pattern as quickly as possible.
Remote Learning: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. The Engage section of the lesson can be done over a video call, then students can work individually or as a virtual group during the Explore section, using the Student Worksheet as guide. In a virtual group setting, each group member would need to build their own prototype. A set of materials can be prepared in advance or students can use materials found around the house. The Reflect sections can be done over another video call. Students can present their final design solutions either on the call or they can share pictures or drawings of their designs on a class drive.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
The following are the materials needed per student group of 4 for building the seeding machine. These materials are suggestions and can be changed as needed. You can select the quantities for each item. Make sure each group receives the same quantities of each material. In a remote learning setting, the materials for each group can also be flexible.
Material per student group of 4 for testing the seeding machine:
Area of Science
Biodiversity, deforestation, global warming, engineering design
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
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