Lesson 2

A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes

Think Like an Aerospace Engineer / Grade 4 / Fall River, MA

EiE - A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes, L2

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The EIE Curriculum

Students use information about the temperature, atmosphere, and surface of a planet to imagine how a spacecraft traveling to that planet might be designed. 

Reflection Questions

Why do you think it is useful for Jean to engage her students in a discussion about celestial bodies and what they already know about spacecrafts before they begin designing?

Students spend much of their time in this lesson imagining spacecraft designs that need to be well suited to their destinations. Having them begin to share information and build common understanding while the whole class is together creates a useful foundation.

  • Jean asks students to name some factors they might need to consider when designing a spacecraft. This allows students to brainstorm and think critically about criteria and constraints that aerospace engineers must consider. (1:45)
  • One student shares that she knows some spacecrafts can carry people, and others cannot. This is very relevant to the lesson as it is something that groups will need to consider for their own imagined spacecraft designs. (6:45)

What benefits do you see to returning to the Guiding Question at the end of the lesson?

By asking students to return to the Guiding Question, Jean is able to assess what they are taking away from the lesson and recap some of the main points.

  • Jean asks students to name some factors they might need to consider when designing a spacecraft. This allows students to brainstorm and think critically about criteria and constraints that aerospace engineers must consider. (1:45)
  • One student shares that she knows some spacecraft can carry people, and others cannot. This is very relevant to the lesson as it is something that groups will need to consider for their own imagined spacecraft designs. (6:45)