Designing & Building 3D Structures
The Grade Six students noticed that Fish, our pet hamster, seemed bored in his cage and came up with the idea that they should build some structures for him to enjoy. During a unit on Measurement, students designed 3D structures that would fit inside Fish’s cage. Two to three structures would be placed into his cage at once, so students began with measuring the dimensions of Fish’s cage and then calculated the area and volume of it. From there they started their design plans making sure to calculate the area and volume of their structure to ensure it would fit inside, along with some other structures. They also figured out the approximate volume Fish himself takes up so they could ensure he would have room to maneuver within their structures. After planning and making cardboard prototypes, the students then built their structures using pieces of scrap wood.
This year, as part of the A+ For Energy Project the Gr. 5-6 class was trying to find out if a hamster running on a wheel could generate electricity.
After finishing the wiring and getting Fish to run, we found out he generated enough electricity to light up a small indicator light for a few seconds. After watching him run on his wheel, we looked at making some modifications to increase efficiency. The students identified that he needed more traction on his wheel and needed to run in a counter-clockwise direction in order to produce electricity. In addition to these, another aspect we needed to address was about how to take care of a hamster. The students divided into groups based on their interest and got to work. Afterwards, they made videos detailing their journey up to this point. Enjoy!