Lesson 4
Part 2

Just Passing Through: Designing Model Membranes

Designing a Model Membrane (2) / Grade 4 / Fall River, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Just Passing Through: Designing Model Membranes, L4 Part 2

Students focus on the bioengineering problem of meeting the basic needs of an organism as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve their own model membrane. 

Reflection Questions

How does Jean handle group discussions about their first designs?

Because Jean’s students are experienced engineers, she’s able to let them lead much of the discussion. 

  • After one group shares their ideas on the sponge, Jean asks other groups to weigh in on their results from the sponge. The kids become the expert consultants for each other’s groups. We see one student suggesting maybe it’s the way they placed the sponge that led to their results (not the sponge material itself). (3:50)
  • Julia has a brainstorm based on seeing other group’s designs and realizes the other successful groups have foil in common, so that might be a good idea. (4:30)
  • Towards the end of the student-driven discussion, Jean jokingly says she doesn’t know if she helped them, but reinforces that it’s their job and their choice to draw their own conclusions from what they’ve observed. (5:20)

What strategies do you see Jean using to guide students to use their data from Lesson 3?

During one on one group discussions, Jean is able to ask pointed questions to guide students to question some of their earlier thinking. 

  • When talking with one group that suggests they might use the foil with no holes, Jean asks them to think about whether the foil with no holes would let anything through. (6:30)
  • One group with a successful first design doesn’t want to improve. She encourages them to push further, noting that whatever they try next will give them more information, even if it doesn’t work. (8:00)
  • When talking with a group thinking of creating a hole in the felt, Jean guides students to look at the results from Lesson 3 to figure out whether that’s necessary. (10:30)