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Table 3 Museum security lessons and main concepts

From: Understanding coherence and integration in integrated STEM curriculum

Lesson Main concepts to be learned Lesson summary Connections to the client
Lesson 1 Engineering
Engineers use the engineering design process (EDP) to develop solutions.
Engineering solutions have to meet the needs of a client.
Students work in small teams to review the EDP. Students learn about the criteria and constraints of the EDC from a client letter. Students read a client letter that introduces them to the context of their engineering design challenge.
Lesson 2 Science
Waves can be characterized by their wavelength, amplitude, and frequency.
The color of light is related to wave properties.
Students learn about the wavelength, amplitude, and frequency of waves and how these relate to the energy of the wave. They discuss the color spectrum and relationships between the wave properties and the color of light seen. Remind students of the client letter introduced yesterday.
Suggested questions: What do you remember about the client’s problem, criteria, and constraints? What scientific knowledge do you think you will need to design a laser security system?
Lesson 3 Science
Light travels in straight lines.
Light interacts differently (absorption and transmission) with different surfaces.
Students explore some of the basic properties of light. They observe that light travels in a straight line, spreads out as it moves away from its source, and interacts differently with different surfaces. Students explore absorption and transmission of light using different materials. Develop questions for the client. Students should be provided with an opportunity to ask clarifying questions from the client.
Lesson 4 Science
Light reflects from a mirrored surface.
Light reflects and refracts from a lens.
Through hands-on activities, students are introduced to reflection and refraction of light. They observe light as it interacts with mirrors and lenses. They learn that light behaves differently depending on the medium with which it is interacting. Situate learning in engineering design context by reminding students that they need to keep learning about light so they can design a security system.
Lesson 5 Science
The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.
The angle of refraction is dependent on the material and shape of the lens.
Mathematics
Measure angles in whole-number degrees using a protractor.
Students complete a guided exploration of a simulation. By manipulating variables within the simulation, they discover the law of reflection. They also learn that the angle of refraction is dependent upon the medium through which light is passing, which affects the speed of the light. Students read an email from the client with responses to their questions
Lesson 6 Science
The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.
The angle of refraction is dependent on the material and shape of the lens.
Mathematics
Measure angles in whole-number degrees using a protractor.
Students apply their learning from the simulation to a hands-on activity. Students measure angles of reflection and refraction of different mirrors and lenses.  
Lesson 7 Engineering
Engineers iteratively test prototypes to improve their design solution.
Engineers use their knowledge of science and mathematics to propose design solutions.
Based on their knowledge of the behavior of light, students individually brainstorm potential design ideas, then work as a team to determine the best solution to prototype. Students make a physical prototype of their laser security system and iteratively test their proposed laser security system using the design criteria and constraints from the client. Refer students back to the client letter. Suggested questions: What problem are we trying to solve with our designs? How will you know if your design is successful?
What constraints or limits will affect how you create your design?
Lesson 8 Engineering
Engineering design solutions must meet the criteria and constraints from the client.
Students use data from the previous lesson to redesign their laser security system. Students compose letters to the client to justify how their design fulfills the criteria and constraints. Students compose letters to the client to justify why their design fulfills the criteria and constraints.