5th Graders Design Heat Shields in New Middle School Science Lab

This week, 5th Graders were presented with an engineering design challenge to provide a hands-on investigation into different types of heat transfer. Given only a few materials, students designed a shield to protect a bolt from heating up and melting glue adhered to a wooden rod, causing the contraption to fall apart. An unprotected bolt lasts only 4 seconds under a blowtorch, so students were tasked with designing a shield that could exceed that time.

The students were able to work on their shields in a newly renovated lab space. “It proved to be an excellent area for the class to discuss the challenge and collaborate with group members,” said 5th-grade science teacher Mr. Lawrence.

Once built, students tested their heat shields outside. The top group was able to keep their glue protected from the blowtorch for over a minute! This experiment concluded the student’s first Earth Science unit and gave 5th graders a better understanding of the difference between conduction, convection and radiation.