How to Design the Best Boat in Tinkercad

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  • This Instructable integrates a MyStemKits problem-based learning activity aligned to the NGSS and Common Core Standards. This model eliciting activity (MEA) will help students tackle real-world problems as they balance budgetary constraints with finding the most-optimal design, all while overcoming unforseen circumstances that may change the procedure students use to determine the best solution. In the end, students are challenged to design and test their own boats, using Tinkercad to model a 3D-printable boat.

    Subject: Science | Math

    Strand: Engineering Design | Geometry

    Grade: 9-10

    Estimated Instructional Time: 3-4 class periods, 50 minutes each

    Estimated Boat Design Time: 1 class period, 50 minutes

    Lesson Plan Abstract:

    Students will be engaged in a hands-on activity to test the efficiency of various cargo boat designs. In testing, students will collect data using 3D-printed boat models and determine which design is superior in terms of total cargo mass. Students will explore scientific approaches, engineering design, and mathematical applications, namely developing a procedure to select a boat while meeting several constraints. In part 2 of the activity, students will have the opportunity to design their own boat prototype.

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    Materials Required:

    • Computer with internet
    • 3D Printer
    • Fish tank or plastic container
    • Water
    • Large Paperclips
    • 1/2" Washers or Pennies (for weight)
    • Tape

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    Content and Practice Standards:
    Next Generation Science Standards

    HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

    NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

    • 2. Developing and using models
    • 4. Analyzing and interpreting data
    • 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

    Common Core State Standards

    CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.MG.A.3 Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).*

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.