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Construction Problem Solving

Posted on : 04-10-2011 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Problem Solving

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The websites:

  • http://pbskids.org/fetch/games/dishitout/game.html Rube Goldberg Machine
  • http://www.inventionatplay.org/swf/gravity/gravity.swf
  • http://pbskids.org/zoom/games/goldburgertogo/rubegame.html

Engage your students’ problem solving and spatial relations skills with these construction challenges.  Each challenge involves placing a series of parts in the correct locations and/or adjusting parts to result in a functioning machine.  Each functioning machine completes a task such as directing a ball into a bucket or focusing light through a magnifying glass.  Students are able to test their machines anytime during the building process to help them revise their machines.  Several levels of difficulty are represented, and Dish It Out even allows students to create challenges for other students to complete.

Implementation Ideas

These challenges would be most useful for individual student problem solving and/or for small group cooperation at a center.

Extension

Have students bring in materials such as cardboard boxes, tin cans, string, empty milk cartons, etc. and move these online activities into the classroom by setting up an area for students to practice hands-on construction and problem solving by creating their own machines that complete tasks.