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Educator Resource: Curriculum Module

There and Back Again

How do you get one mile underground and back again? Use your math and science acumen to design a model hoist system.
Upper Elementary
Time required
A minimum of six 60-minute sessions

Students investigate energy, motion, and energy transfer as they design a system that utilizes a motor to lower and lift a scale model of a Sanford Lab cage; transporting people and equipment to science spaces nearly one mile underground. Students use math skills to calculate area and estimate capacity for the scale models created.


There and Back Again-- Energy and Motion

4-PS3-1 Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.

4-PS3-3 Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

4-PS3-2 Make observations to provide evidence for how energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

4-PS3-4 Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.

Plan and carry out fair tests in which variable are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.