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Getting Started Select Design Task Learn About Design

Day 1: Presenting Challenge

In Day 1, Goldman starts off by giving his tech ed students a classic introduction to the parachute design task via a one-page design brief on the parachute task. Students then formed into groups to test the materials they were give, and to identify those design variables that would be most important to test later. MOVIE 2 shows an extended video segment of how five tech ed students spent their first 25 minutes exploring the Model Parachute task. (Also watch Designer Roles for a video-enhanced interpretation of this sequence.
Questions for MOVIE 1:
1. Students often never explore anything beyond the first design idea that they propose (for similar behaviors, see Ways of Naive Designers). How might Goldman's three demo chutes have helped his students avoid this pitfall?
2. Students often lose track of how their design ideas evolve. This amounts to students' losing of evidence of their own learning. How does Goldman ask them keep track of their ideas?
3. How does Goldman's approach to assessment include both individual and
MOVIE 1:   2 minutes 50 seconds MOVIE 2:   6 minutes 10 seconds
group work? What other ways could you suggest he do this?
4. On Day 7, Goldman handed out a follow-up to the parachute task -- to build a toy with a parachute in it. Do you think he should have at least described this task at the outset, or saved it for later as he did? Questions for MOVIE 2:
1. What science and math concepts do you hear the team members referring to or using?
2. Which student comments related to a parachute's Design Criteria of flight path, stable descent, and canopy inflation?
3. Which students had the most impact on the group? Who seemed to have little impact? What behaviors seemed to contribute to these impacts?
4. What goals would you set for this group? What ideas on individual performances would you file in the back of your mind for later insertion or discussion?

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