Select an Approach and Develop Your Design (2 hours) > Print/View All Notes
In this activity, students will use what they have learned and conduct any additional research necessary to gather details on dimension, materials and location of successful nest boxes. Continue to be available for questions as students research and plan out their nest box designs. They should write up their approach and design proposal on pages 6-10 in their Engineering Portfolios.
The next activity, Design a Model, will give students the opportunity to use the Nest Box Builder tool to create an orthographic drawing—a two-dimensional drawing that represents a three-dimensional object. Students should first identify their bird from the list of three birds. Next, they will be prompted to drag materials to the workspace and resize them for their bird. Students can also create ventilation and drainage holes, and choose an appropriately sized hole for their bird to enter the nest box. Assist students as they work in groups to complete the activity. Note that this activity may take up to an hour to complete, so you may want to begin it on a new day.
The Make a Prototype section of the tool may be tricky for students. Students will print out their orthographic drawings, cut out the pieces and use tape to assemble the parts. Provide support for students as they create their prototypes, and help them find solutions to problems they encounter. They may return to the first part of the tool and repeat the steps if they need to refine their designs. Once students are happy with their paper prototypes, they should move on to the next part of the tool.
In the next part of the tool, Make Your Nest Box, students will drag and drop parts of their orthographic drawing to assemble the nest box. Next, they will choose a place to install their nest box and determine how high to place it off the ground. Finally, students will test the nest box to see if their designs are appropriate. They will click "test" in the tool, and the tool will automatically rate students' designs and let them know if the nest box is successful in attracting a bird. If their nest box was not successful, students will be prompted to try again. They will receive three tries before an appropriate model will be presented.