At the beginning of the IPC unit students are involved in an “Entry Point” that allows for an exciting provocation to occur regarding the work that is about to come. The unit that the students were about to engage in is “Mission to Mars” and in order to develop a thought-provoking activity, the students were placed into a scenario.
The scenario was that the students in their groups had landed on Mars and are facing terrible conditions with a high possibility of death unless they created a shelter. The shelter would need to be sturdy and strong which has the capacity of fitting one person and can withstand a strong storm.
In the beginning, the students were given blue tac, straws, spaghetti, and scissors to create a mini model. The students were using their thinking, collaboration, and communication skills to work together in order to create a model before they begin to create their life-sized model. The students were stopped after 15 minutes to share their ideas as to why they had created their small-sized models.
After this, we decided to bring up the concept of geodesic domes and we discussed further the use of triangles in the structure. The students again engaged in thought-provoking ideas which divulged into a deep conversation among the cohort of students about different shapes and the strength of them.
Lastly, the students were given a newspaper and cello tape to create their life-size building and the students began to participate in the task. They did this by sharing their ideas, experimenting with the different structures, and thinking critically with the information they had just learnt about shapes and structures. As time went on the students started to design their shelter. In the end, the teachers walked around and the groups discussed their design and saw whether it would withstand the shocks of the wind.
This task allowed students to use their 21st-century skills. It is important to allow for students to exercise 21st-century skills during class as this will help them develop the skills which are needed in the modern-day work environment.