Solid as a Rock: Replicating an Artifact by National Center for Technological Literacy
Students will have the chance to think like materials engineers throughout this unit as they learn about the rock cycle and properties of rocks. In this design challenge, students are tasked by a museum to design a replica of an artifact, a carving made in stone (also known as a petroglyph). The storybook introduces students to Galya and Natasha, twin sisters from Russia who have very different personalities and interests. The sisters decide to create replicas of a petroglyph they discover. The rock cycle, the three types of rocks produced through the rock cycle, materials engineering, and the engineering design process are introduced. Materials engineering thinking will be reinforced as students analyze twill and terry, two different products created from the same raw material. The processes that led to the varied properties of the final products, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each material, will be discussed. Students reflect upon how materials processing, a central concept of materials engineering, affects both human-made and natural products, such as rocks. Students will then perform a range of tests to help analyze the properties of a set of human-made materials and naturally made rocks. The information gathered through these investigations will allow students to think carefully about the criteria and constraints put forth to guide the design of their own petroglyph replicas.
Type(s): Module/Unit, Lesson Plan, Field Activity, Computer Activity, Classroom Activity
Subject(s): Engineering, General Science
Grade Level(s): K-5
Total Quantity: 2