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Playground Calm Space

Greetings, Double-O-STEM Club Agents! You have been selected for an important mission. Serena needs your help with a problem in her community.

Think about these questions as you watch the video. Write answers in your Double-O STEM Club notebook.

Image preview of a YouTube video

Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-NwTj

After students watch the video, click the activity links below to start this mission.
 
Getting Started
 
 

In this Playground Calm Space case, students will use library resources to complete the following tasks listed below. The learner version of the case can be found using this link.

  • Watch the case introduction video and identify the main character's problem.
  • Research sensory hypersensitivity and brainstorm solutions for a calming playground space.
  • Design and develop a calming playground space prototype.
  • Gather feedback throughout the process and incorporate as needed.
  • Reflect on the process, findings, successes, and failures of the prototypes.

Learners will need a place to take notes as they brainstorm and research solutions to the problem. Although questions are presented in the agent section of the online chapter, this course also includes a downloadable handbook for each case with brief activity descriptions, questions, thinking prompts, and white space for taking notes. This is presented as an "agent handbook," as learners are acting as new agents helping the main character with the mission/problem. Librarians may choose to download and print this handbook for learners or have them do it. Alternatively, librarians may decide to have learners type answers on a computer or provide learners with a folder in which to place the printouts or spiral notebook in which to write answers, sketch ideas, etc. 

The following link to the handbook is also available to students in their student version of this book.

Double-O STEM Club Agent Handbook: Playground Calm Space

For your convenience, the student version of each activity is located in the "Think," "Create," and "Share & Grow" sections of this book.

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will determine parameters for what a successful solution to the problem entails in light of the contextual constraints.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will develop a design schematic for a calm playground space that meets the needs of end users.
  • The agent will develop a prototype for a calm playground space that meets the needs of end users.
  • The agent will develop instruments to collect data regarding identified problems/solutions.
  • The agent will collect, analyze, and reflect on data from developed instruments.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.
  • The agent will revise prototypes based on evaluation feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.C.4: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes sharing products with an authentic audience.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Learning Activities

Think

This activity introduces Double-O STEM Club agents to the case and the charge to develop a calm space for a redesigned playground. The primary problem associated with the case involves designing a calm space for kids with sensory hypersensitivity to get away from the noise and chaos of the playground as needed. During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will identify and describe the main problem presented in the video, discuss possible solutions with peers, and formulate research questions based on identified problem(s) and prior knowledge.

Materials

  • This case
  • Notebooks and writing instruments for each agent to document ideas and questions
  • Computer with LCD projector/television display
  • Tool to capture agent ideas (easel pad, whiteboard, computer)
  • Examples of wheelchair-accessible swings

Setup

This activity includes whole-class and group discussion. Set up an area that allows the librarian to introduce the case and share examples. Provide agents with notebooks and writing instruments and encourage them to capture ideas (through words and illustrations) as they work on this case. Allow agents to brainstorm problems associated with the case and questions that may require additional research. Capture main ideas on a whiteboard, easel pad, or other medium. Be sure to ask agents if there are aspects of other cases they have completed that might apply in this case. 

Agent View

Activity 1: Discussion

Now that you have seen the video, work with other Double-O STEM Club agents to think about the problem and a solution. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the main problem?
  • What other problems did you notice?
  • What research questions need to be answered to help you design a solution?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering:

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

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry:

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.

This activity will explain to Double-O STEM Club agents that some kids like to take a break to calm down, and some kids need to take a break. Direct agents to find out why some people are sensitive to certain stimuli (like noise, bright or flashing lights, etc.). Instruct and encourage agents to: Look up the term “sensory hypersensitivity” and describe what they find. Think of examples of things that might bother someone with sensory hypersensitivity. Then think of things that might make them feel better or more comfortable.

Materials

  • Computers with internet access (individually or in small groups)
  • Agent notebooks to document ideas and questions
  • Presentation tools (e.g., presentation software, easel pad, etc.)
  • Example materials (either physical or visual)
  • Photos of wheelchair accessible swings (electronic or printed)
  • Library circulation materials related to sensory hypersensitivity and calm spaces

Setup

Make sure agents will have access to computer resources for internet, database, and library catalogue research. Set up an area where whole and small groups can congregate. Use this area to introduce the activity, provide examples, brainstorm and consider criteria to examine, and develop and present findings.

Agent View

Activity 2: Research Sensory Hypersensitivity and Calm Spaces

Use the internet and other library resources to research why some children need to take a break from the playground. Write down what you learn and share your notes with other agents.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is sensory hypersensitivity?
  • What kinds of things bother kids with sensory hypersensitivity?
  • What kinds of things might make them feel better?
  • How do you make the space safe? Comfortable? 

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will determine parameters for what a successful solution to the problem entails in light of the contextual constraints.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will think of criteria that others should use to examine their calm playground space models. Criteria to consider may include (but is not limited to) accessibility, safety, sensory elements (e.g., touch, smell, sight, sound), use in various weather scenarios, use of materials (e.g., natural, man-made, recycled) beauty, cost, and so forth. Help agents generate a list of criteria within small or large groups and narrow and refine that criteria to a list of 8-12 that can be considered by others in a few minutes. This evaluation checklist can be modified and refined as prototypes are developed and reflected upon.

Materials

  • Electronic or paper-based copies of survey responses (enough for each group)
  • Tools to tally survey responses (e.g., computer with spreadsheet, graph paper)
  • Computer with LCD Projector
  • Agent notebook to record ideas
  • Presentation software or easel pad

Setup

This activity includes individual and group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Provide electronic or paper-based copies of survey responses to each group of agents. Also provide tools for groups to tally survey results and present their findings to the whole group.  

Agent View

Activity 3: Prototype Feedback Criteria

Think of criteria that others should use to examine your calm playground space model. Librarians or educators are available to help you create a list of criteria with other agents and narrow your criteria to a list of 8-12 that can be considered by others in a few minutes. You can update your checklist as you develop and reflect on your prototype.

Guiding Questions:

  • Does the prototype take into consideration things like accessibility, safety, and comfort?
  • Are sensory elements (e.g., touch, smell, sight, sound) incorporated in a calming way?
  • Would it hold up under different weather conditions?
  • Does it have a look that would appeal to users?
  • Were recycled materials used?
  • Do you think it could be made at a reasonable cost?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will collect, analyze, and reflect on data from developed tools.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.
  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

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

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.

Prior to developing a calm space prototype, Double-O STEM Club agents should take some time to plan. What will they build? What will it look like? How large will it be? Will it have moving parts? Will it include natural materials? How will designs block out noise? Are there calming activities that can be incorporated? Using either a piece of paper or a computer application, agents should develop a detailed schematic for their swing. Agents keep track of design decisions in their notebooks.

Materials

  • Calm playground space examples
  • Engineering or graph paper or computer software for each agent
  • Writing instruments (e.g., pen, pencil)
  • Rulers or straight edges, protractors, compasses
  • Agent notebooks to record ideas
  • Tools to project agent work (e.g., document camera, smartphone camera, computer, LCD screen)

Setup

This activity includes small and whole group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Focus the seating arrangement so agents have space to draw but can still see each other in classroom and small group discussions.

Agent View

Activity 4: Playground Calm Space Schematic

Prior to developing a calm space prototype, you should take some time to plan. Using either a piece of paper or a computer application, agents should develop a detailed schematic for their swing. Write down your design decisions.

Guiding Questions:

  • What will you build?
  • What will it look like?
  • How large will it be?
  • Will it have moving parts?
  • Will it include natural materials?
  • How will it block out noise?
  • What, how and where can you incorporate calming activities into your design? 
Activity 4: Learning Objectives & Aligned Standards

Learning Objectives

  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will design a safe, comfortable, shaded, calming space for children with sensory hypersensitivity.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering 

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design: generate and compare multiple possible solutions for a problem and compare constraints and success criteria.

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

 
 

Have Double-O STEM Club agents use paper, scissors, glue, tape, and other items around the library to construct a model of a calm playground space away from the main equipment and entrances. Encourage creative thinking! What will the space look like? What natural materials can be used? What man-made materials? What will make it most comfortable? What quiet play features can be included? How big should it be? What other features, such as water fountains, should be included to help kids calm down when they are upset? Tell agents not to worry about making a life-size model. Keeping your model small will be easier to build and allow you to improve upon it. Agents should be encouraged to share their design decisions with the after-school group. 

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Card stock
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Example packages that use differing structural and insulating techniques (e.g., padded envelopes, egg carton, biodegradable packing peanuts)  
  • Camera to document prototypes
  • Agent notebooks to record ideas
  • Computer with LCD Projector
  • Links to design-structure ideas (we need to find a few examples)

Setup

This activity is largely hands-on. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Make sure there is ample space for agents to cut, fold, tape, and glue materials together to practice putting together their model designs. Organize craft materials so they are in a central location with easy access to agents. You may want to begin this lesson by reviewing some design techniques to help ensure safety, wheelchair accessibility, and weather-resistance. Encourage agents to document ideas in their notebooks. Also encourage them to refer to notebooks for design ideas from past sessions. Be sure to use the camera to capture work samples and design processes during the session.

Agent View

Activity 5: Playground Calm Space Prototype

Time to start building! Use the materials that you chose in the last step to create a prototype (an example for testing). Don’t worry about it looking nice. Don’t worry about making a life-size model either. Keeping your model small will be easier to build and allow you to improve upon it. Write down the design decisions you make along the way and share them with fellow agents. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What will your space look like?
  • What natural materials can you use?
  • What man-made materials?
  • What will make it most comfortable?
  • What quiet play features can you include?
  • How big should it be?
  • What other features, such as water fountains, should you include to help kids calm down when they are upset? 

Activity 5: Learning Objectives & Aligned Standards

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe three benefits and limitations of three different man-made and natural materials that potentially could be used in the play area, such as metal, plastic, rubber, wood, and plants.
  • The agent will demonstrate and/or describe three different ways in which materials can be placed to maximize effectiveness.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will collect, analyze, and reflect on data from developed instruments.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Near the end of this case, Double-O STEM Club agents will showcase their best prototype and the design decisions/ideas, and tests that led them to their solution. This may require them to make a new version of their prototype (if testing and reflection damaged or destroyed their prototype). Encourage agents to focus on a quality build over aesthetics (if needed). Then have agents describe their model, the design decisions they used to develop it, how testing and reflection improved their product, and how they would continue to perfect the model if given the chance. Use this session to focus on celebrating accomplishments and creative thinking.

Materials

  • Copies of agent prototypes
  • Summarized feedback from evaluation criteria
  • Photographs and video captured from prior sessions
  • Agent notebooks to remember ideas
  • Presentation tools (e.g., easel pads, presentation software)
  • Celebration Materials (e.g., party noise makers, confetti, banners)
  • Computers for agents to develop presentations (as applicable)
  • LCD projector (as applicable) to project presentations

Setup

This activity includes individual and group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around group presentations. Make sure to decorate the presentation space with celebration materials. Provide agents with their notebooks, photographs and videos of prototypes and testing examples, summaries of evaluation criteria for their prototypes, and a copy of their best prototype. Also provide tools for groups to develop a short presentation about their work.

Agent View

Activity 6: Showcase and Reflection

Good work, agents! I knew I could count on you to solve the community’s calm playground space problem. Now it is time to share your designs. As a group, you will share your prototype (make a new one if yours was damaged during testing) and your design decisions.

Guiding Questions:

  • Why did you design your prototype the way you did?
  • How did you improve your design after testing it?

Activity 6: Learning Objectives & Aligned Standards

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Celebration

Excellent playground calm space designs, agents! Watch the video below to wrap up this Double-O STEM Club mission.

Image preview of a YouTube video

Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-DMcz