Before the Lesson:
1. Students will work in groups of three.
2. Remind students that they have completed research regarding tornado shelters in Lesson 2 of this unit, "Preparing for Natural Disasters: Tornado". Students will be building upon research completed in this lesson.
3. Lead students in brainstorming possible ways structures might be damaged during a tornado.
4. Share the two YouTube videos with students and discuss how tornadoes can damage buildings. Tornadoes can cause buildings to be damaged by flying debris, ruining the structure, or blowing away the roof of a building.
5. Compare the list created in step 1 to the evidence of storm damage observe from watching the videos.
During the Lesson:
1. Explain to students that they will be creating their own three-dimensional model of a tornado-proof shelter. They may focus on particular areas of a structure such as a better way to secure walls, anchoring foundations, improving roof shingles, or the roof design. Students should be creative with their ideas.
2. Provide the following two websites to students to gather information for their structure designs:
http://www.tornadoproject.com/ Explain to students to look under the tornado safety tab and select storm shelters to read about additional types of storm shelters. This information will aid in their designs.
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1418837471752-920f09bb8187ee15436712a3e82ce709/FEMA_P-320_2014_508.pdf Students may find chapters two and three helpful in reading about dangers of tornadoes and possible safe room designs that are effective in storms.
3. Students will use information learned in Lesson 3 of this unit, "Preparing for Natural Disasters: Tornado" and earlier in this lesson, to plan a storm shelter design that will stand up to high winds with their groups.
4. Students will name their engineering firm. The name of their firm should appear on their poster.
5. The groups will begin planning their designs based on research gathered. The planning should be described in each student's science journal. Planning will include sketches of their design, description of types of materials they will use, and dimensions of their structure.
6. Students will sketch their final idea on the poster board and label the components.
7. Students will post their engineering firm name and design title to Padlet. Padlet is a free online bulletin board that can be used to display information. Teachers can create a bulletin board, allow students to join, and they can post their exit slips or comments to the board for the teachers and class to view. https://padlet.com/
8. Once students have finalized their design idea, they will begin constructing their prototype of the structure. The prototype will be a scaled down three-dimensional version of an actual structure. Teachers can create a LEGO, K'NEX, Tinkertoy, or Popsicle stick house type structure as a sample of a three-dimensional model to serve as an example for students. It is helpful to save student samples to provide examples for future classes.
9. The various materials will be presented as options for students to use to create their model.
10. Students will present their engineering firm name, their poster explaining their design idea, their final prototype, and a description of materials used.
11. Designs will undergo a 1-minute wind test from a fan to determine if the structure can withstand the wind force.
After the Lesson:
Students will create an entry in their science journal addressing the results of their wind test:
- Did your structure withstand the wind?
- Why do you think your structure was or was not successful?
- What changes do you think could be made to improve your structure?