As agents build prototypes, they will be given materials (e.g., water, dirt, paper, rocks) to test their prototypes based on the evaluation criteria established and refined in earlier sessions. Agents should capture these evaluations and learn how to use and reflect on them to drive future prototypes. Reflections should focus on the effectiveness of prototypes and design decisions, how use materials influence evaluations, hypotheses and design ideas, and so forth. Be sure to discuss and revise evaluation criteria (as needed) based on agent prototypes, design foci, and so forth. As appropriate let other groups and library patrons test the packaging prototypes using providing evaluation criteria.
- Copies of prototype evaluation criteria
- Fill materials (e.g., water, dirt, shredded paper, pebbles)
- Paper towels, sanitation wipes, and other clean-up materials
- Agent notebooks to record ideas
- Camera to document prototypes
- Computer with LCD Projector to share ideas
This activity is largely hands-on and can get messy. Setup in a location that eases clean-up (e.g., near a sink or restrooms, non-carpet floors). 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 test prototypes. You may also want to provide prototype construction materials so agents can refine their work as they test it. Encourage agents to document ideas and outcomes in their notebooks. Place filler materials so they are in a central location with easy access to agents. You may want to begin the lesson by reviewing packaging purposes and reviewing prototype evaluation criteria. If library patrons and families will be provided with prototypes, establish how they will provide feedback. Be sure to use the camera to capture work samples and design processes during the session.
Activity 5: Prototype Testing & Revisions
How do we know that your designs work, agents? We need you to put your designs to the test. Use materials you can find, like water, dirt, rocks, or real fruits and vegetables (if available) for your tests. As a group, think about what questions you need to ask during your test. Use the evaluation checklist that you wrote earlier. Write down the outcomes.
- What do you hypothesize (or think would happen) during prototype testing?
- Does your prototype meet all of the criteria?
- Did anything unexpected happen in what you designed?
- If you were to try it again, what would you do & why?
- Do you need more information to design something that would solve Dahlia’s problem?
- Where can you find that information?
- Based on findings from your prototype testing, how will you revise?
- Be prepared to explain your decisions.
- 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.
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.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.