Lesson 4
Part 1

Marvelous Machines: Making Work Easier

Improving a Factory Subsystem (1) / Grade 5 / Andover, MA

EiE - Marvelous Machines: Making Work Easier, L4 Part 1

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The EIE Curriculum

Students apply their knowledge of simple machines and industrial engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own factory subsystems. 

Reflection Questions

As students share their imagined subsystem diagrams, what do you notice about their ability to represent ideas using visual texts?

Tim's students show evidence of visual literacy skills in the ways they create and interpret their sketches.

  • Students use labels to identify parts of the subsystem. (6:01)
  • All of the student diagrams are sequenced from right to left, but arrows are used to clarify specific directions of movement. (6:13 and 6:33)
  • Students use their fingers to move along the diagram and reinforce their representations with gestures. (6:05 and 6:13)

When and why does Tim have students work individually versus small groups?

Tim uses different student grouping strategies for each stage of the Engineering Design Process (EDP).

  • For the Ask step, Tim has his whole class work together on the overhead worksheet as they review what they had all done in Lesson 3.
  • For the Imagine step, Tim has students separate and work individually. He explains that he wants them to think outside the box and come up with original ideas that they can bring to the group.
  • For the Plan step, Tim arranges students in working groups of 4, encouraging them to compromise and combine individual ideas into a single plan they will pursue as a group.