Fourth Grade Design Challenge: Trimester 2

In fourth grade, students studied energy, specifically, understanding that energy exists in various forms and its transformation and conservation occur in processes that are predictable and measurable.  Energy comes in many forms including heat, light sound, magnetic, chemical, and electrical forms.  Students were tasked with designing a birdhouse roof that allows the temperature inside to stay cool in the hot sun or retain warmth after the sun goes down.  They identified different sources of energy and used this knowledge to design insulating environments.  They also inquired into the question, How can we transfer our findings about insultion to provide better roofing materials in our world?  Students created birdhouse roofs and tested them against the intense heat of the sun, using heat lamps.  Students tested theories and made changes as necessary to create the best birdhouse roof for their birds.  In addition to the design challenge, students also engaged in a simulation that used their knowledge of materials and the environment.  Check out “Aviary Architects” at the Boston Museum website: