Use live forecast data to decide whether tomato plants will have to be watered this week.
- Read through the pupil material in the LEGO® Education SPIKE™ App.
Engage (5 Min.)
- Use the ideas in the Ignite a Discussion section below to engage your pupils in a discussion relating to this lesson.
- Explain the lesson.
Explore (20 Min.)
- Have your pupils work in pairs to build the tomato-meter model.
- Ask them to play the program. Observe their reactions. Remind them that they must enter a city in order for the program to work.
- Let your pupils figure out how to move the needle in proportion to the amount of precipitation that’s been forecasted.
Explain (5 Min.)
- Have teams pair up if they need help calibrating their tomato-meters.
Elaborate (15 Min.)
- Have your pupils try to display the temperature forecast for the next week. Displaying a value on a scale is a different task than displaying the sum of forecasted precipitation for one week.
- Don't forget to leave some time for tidying up.
- Give feedback on each pupil's performance.
- In order to simplify the process, you can use the assessment rubrics that have been provided.
Start a discussion about the specifics of how vegetables are grown. Talk about their needs and differences. Ask relevant questions. Here are some examples:
- Can you explain how long it takes for certain vegetables to grow?
- Why can’t vegetables grow all year long in some places?
- What's a proportional relation?
Have your pupils watch this video to see what they're about to do.
Using the Stall Function
This model uses just one motor to move the needle from one side to the other. It doesn’t use sensors. The pupils can use a block to detect if the motor is stalled.
Loading the Paper
You can load any type of paper in the tomato-meter. You can use the PDF that has been provided for this lesson or ask your pupils to create their own.
Simplify this lesson by:
- Explaining how to move the needle according to the amount of precipitation that has been forecasted.
Take this lesson to the next level by:
- Letting your pupils create their own vegetable ‘water requirements’ cards to place in the tomato-meter.
- Using different ‘water requirements’ cards among the class or within the same team and validating how quickly they can recalibrate their tomato-meter.
Teacher Observation Checklist
Establish a scale that suits your needs, for example:
- Partially accomplished
- Fully accomplished
Use the following success criteria to evaluate your pupils' progress:
- The pupils are able to calibrate a meter according to the value that they're trying to measure.
- The pupils are able to make the link between the data manipulation they've made and the relevant real-life situation.
- The pupils are able to display a value on their scale (recalibration).
Have each pupil choose the brick that they feel best represents their performance.
- Blue: I can make my tomato-meter move according to the amount of precipitation.
- Yellow: I can correctly display the sum of precipitation that’s been forecasted for the next week.
- Violet: I can accurately display temperatures on a scale.
To incorporate the development of language arts skills:
- Have your pupils meet someone who works in the farming industry and find out whether they use similar tools. Ask them to compare this life hack scale with the real instruments that farmers use in their fields.
Note: This will require additional time.
To incorporate the development of maths skills:
- Have your pupils use the same scale to calibrate different values:
▷ Wind speed over time
▷ Temperature over time
- Have them define how the calibration should be made.
Note: This will require additional time.
The pupils who enjoyed this lesson might be interested in exploring these career pathways:
- Agriculture and Horticulture (Agricultural Mechanics and Technology)
- Agriculture and Horticulture (Food Science)
- Agriculture and Horticulture (Horticultural Science)
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Science and Maths)
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