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Three Act Math Task
View all pages from 2013-2014 events: EMC Year 1 Home

Engineering Solutions Event

FILES: October 29: [PPTX] [PDF]
FILES: November 25: [PPTX] [PDF] Marshmallow Shooter instructions [HTML]
FILES: February 10: instructions: [PDF]  student worksheet: [PDF]

Number of team members participating: 6 to 8 students

Length of competition: 1 hour

Materials Needed for Competition at Drexel:

  1. calculator (1 for the entire team)
  2. pencils
  3. other materials needed for the challenge will be provided

Materials Needed at School Prior to Competition:

  1. practice Engineering Challenge provided by Philadelphia EMC organizers
  2. 2013-2014 challenges were:
    November 20, 2013: [PPTX] [PDF] January 29, 2014: [PPTX] [PDF]
    March 19, 2014: [PPTX] [PDF] June 4, 2014: [PPTX] [PDF]

Students will receive a prompt and text with information about an engineering challenge. In addition, the completion will require hands-on design and data collection. The subject of the challenge will not be available prior to competition. However, teams will be provided with an example challenge that will help prepare teams to work with the engineering design process.

Background information will be provided at the competition to guide students. Using the background information, students will design and build a structure or apparatus. Students will use their designs and data to make predictions and generate a mathematical model.


The University of California provides information about the application of scientific knowledge or engineering at http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/technology_checklist.

Information about the engineering design process is available at http://www.teachengineering.org/engrdesignprocess.php.

Example lesson ideas to teach students about engineering are available at http://teachers.egfi-k12.org, http://www.teachengineering.org, and http://www.eie.org.

Common Core: Standards for Mathematical Practice

  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7 Look for and make use of structure.

Common Core: English Language Arts Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7 Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.

Rubric: engineering_rubric.pdf

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