Lesson 4

The Attraction is Obvious: Designing Maglev Systems

Designing a Maglev System / Grade 4 / Medford, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - The Attraction is Obvious: Designing Maglev Systems, L4

Students use their knowledge of the properties of magnets and the Engineering Design Process to design a maglev transportation system. 

Reflection Questions

How does Kathleen's introduction serve to connect today's Lesson 4 activities with what students have already done?

Kathleen's introduction positions the lesson within a sequence, making specific reference to how it builds on previous activities. 

  • Kathleen asks a series of questions that help students recall what the challenge is and how they will judge success. (0:49 and 3:05)
  • She shows the Properties of Magnets chart they made in Lesson 3. She discusses why they made that chart and how it will help them today. (1:30)
  • Using the posters on the wall, she reviews the three steps of the EDP they have completed and provides a context for the Create step. (4:02)

What different types of prompts does Kathleen use to help deepen her students' thinking about the design challenge?

Kathleen asks questions that encourage students to apply their knowledge, evaluate what they do, and form explanations. 

  • Kathleen is asking students to apply prior knowledge when she says, "Check the poles. What do they have to be?" (6:48)
  • Kathleen is reviewing an important part of the engineering process when she asks, "Why is it important to record something about your first design?" (8:09)
  • Kathleen looks for a scientific explanation when she asks, "Do you know why that occurred?" (12:23)