Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity – www.TeachEngineering.org

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity – www.TeachEngineering.org.

This is a fantastic resource for designing a bio-dome, excellent for studying ecosystems, specific environments and engineering (there’s also a nice little bit of recycling of plastic bottles involved). The webpage also details how to approach a number of lessons teaching with regards to the bio-dome that students can build. There is also a Bio-dome workbook in pdf that can be downloaded from the page, a full list of materials needed, an introduction with extra vocab section and a simple to use instruction on how to build a simple model bio-dome.

The lesson plans given by Teach Engineering break down different things to look at/study within the bio-dome (energy flow, plants, animals and then decomposers), these could easily be adapted to fit what a teacher specifically wanted or to fit different timescales, you wouldn’t need to add plants, animals and decomposers over 3 weeks unless it helps to establish each one first. Maybe that’s what a school technician is for, hehe!

I think it would be fascinating for a class (or STEM group) to do this over perhaps a few weeks with maybe one built bio-dome for everyone, to see the effects of the bio-dome. The website recommends roughly 5 hours of “lesson” time, but however much of it could be done outside of a lesson to speed learning up.

STEM – Unlocking the Rainbow

Following on from the Skittles posts recently – Candy Experiments and Fun Experiments. We tried this! Well, we tried the rainbow one again, more accurately this time and we got some amazing results. The Skittles in a petri dish worked just as previous blogs said, some of our STEM Club’s results were amazing –

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We tried it with 3 and 5 coloured Skittles (although I realised far too late that there are not 6 colours of Skittles!) and produced a very simple worksheet for colouring in. I love how the colours don’t mix!

Then we did the density rainbow which certainly involves a very steady hand! But some of our groups managed to make it (after I worried hugely that I had made the solutions wrong!)

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I made a huge batch of the different colours – using 100 red skittles, 75 orange, 50 yellow, 25 green and 5 purple – each in 300ml of just boiled water and left them to dissolve for over an hour. I only opted to do it in that order as somebody I know loves the purple flavour so I saved them! In total we opened 3-4 big bags of Skittles, but it was for a full sized class and there are some left.

I even also now have an extension for this experiment, but it’s an Adults only extension! How about a rainbow of Skittles vodka? Any adult want to try it and let me know how it works?