Through this activity, learners will have the opportunity to unleash their creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork abilities by designing and building their own chain reaction machines. They will learn the importance of planning, collaboration, and persistence while experiencing the thrill of watching their machines come to life.
Objective: To engage learners in a hands-on activity where they work in teams to design and build their own chain reaction machines using everyday materials, promoting creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork.
Time: 60+ minutes
- Assorted materials (dominoes, popsicle sticks, marbles, rubber bands, cardboard tubes, paper cups, etc.)
- Hot glue gun (optional, for adult supervision)
- Stopwatch or timer
- Safety goggles (optional, for extra precaution)
1. Introduction (5 minutes):
- Begin by explaining the concept of a chain reaction machine. Discuss how a series of connected actions can trigger a sequence of events in a fun and creative way.
- Show a video or demonstrate an example of a chain reaction machine to spark students’ interest and generate excitement.
2. Team Formation (5 minutes):
- Divide the students into small teams of 3-5 members. Encourage diversity in each group, considering skills and strengths.
3. Planning Phase (10 minutes):
- Instruct each team to brainstorm and sketch their chain reaction machine designs on paper.
- Encourage students to consider the materials available and how they can incorporate them into their machine.
- Emphasize the importance of teamwork, communication, and cooperation during the planning process.
4. Building Phase (30 minutes):
- Provide the materials to each team and explain the time limit of 30 minutes for construction.
- Encourage students to experiment, test, and modify their designs as they build their chain reaction machines.
- Remind them to consider safety precautions and use tools (like scissors or hot glue gun) with adult supervision if necessary.
5. Testing and Showcasing (10 minutes):
- After the construction time is up, gather all the teams together for testing and showcasing their chain reaction machines.
- Allocate each team a specific space or area for their machine setup.
- Instruct one member from each team to explain their design, highlighting the key actions and reactions they expect to occur.
- Start the chain reaction machines simultaneously or one after another, depending on the available space and resources.
6. Reflection and Discussion (5 minutes):
- After all the chain reaction machines have been presented, lead a reflection and discussion session.
- Ask students to share their experiences, challenges, and successes throughout the activity.
- Facilitate a discussion on the importance of planning, teamwork, and problem-solving in building successful chain reaction machines.
- Encourage students to document their chain reaction machines with photos, videos, and/or journaling to share with others.
- Invite others (parents, peers, industry members, etc.) to observe and interact with the chain reaction machines, fostering a sense of excitement and collaboration.