starting line was from the arm of the dropper or from some point on the container. They would need someone to call "Drop!"
Wednesday would be the day of the egg drop. Thursday, the class would begin by meeting in their small groups to discuss what worked, what didn't, why, and what they would do differently if they were to do the egg drop design experiment again. Then they would discuss these same ideas as a whole class.
Friday, the students would fill the board with characteristics of good design procedures. Then they would write and sketch in their notebooks these characteristics and what each had learned from the egg drop activity. He knew from experience that the egg drop would be an engaging activity.
The "header titles" emphasize some important components of the assessment process.
SCIENCE CONTENT: The Content Standards for Science and Technology for students in Grades 5-8 call for them to understand and be able to solve a problem by using design principles. These include the ability to design a product; evaluate technological products; and communicate the process of technological design.
ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY: Following the egg drop activity, students each prepare a report on one thing they propose in order to improve their team's container and how they would test the effectiveness of their improvement.
ASSESSMENT TYPE: Individual. embedded in teaching.
ASSESSMENT PURPOSE: The teacher will use the information to assess student understanding of the process of design and for assigning a grade.
DATA: A report, written, sketched, or both, in which students describe an improvement to the container, the anticipated gains and losses from the improvement, and how they would propose to test the new container.
CONTEXT: The egg drop activity allows students the opportunity to bring scientific principles and creativity to a problem, while developing the skills of technology and having a good time. However, the excitement of the activity can overshadow the intended outcome of developing understanding and abilities of technological design. This assessment activity provides the opportunity for students to reflect on what they have experienced and articulate what they have come to understand. The activity comes after the design of an original container, the testing of that container, a class discussion on what worked and why, what didn't work and why, what they would do differently next time, and an opportunity to make notes in a personal journal for science class.
EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE: Student progress in understanding and doing design can be evaluated by comparing the student responses in the reports with the list generated by previous classes. The astute teacher will have made sure that the list included constraints such as cost, time, materials, and trade-offs. Criteria for a quality report might also include how well the student has differentiated between the design and its evaluation. The teacher might also consider the clarity of expression, as well as alternate ways used to present the information, such as drawings.