Pedagogy Lesson Presentation

Ramp it up!
Allison Brewer
Mary Biggs
Essential Question
• How can students use the engineering design process to investigate slope of
wheelchair access to their school.
Introduce and draw from students’ previous experiences with wheelchair
Student Activity: Have students share experiences using a wheelchair.
Teacher Activity: Show pictures/videos of various wheelchair ramp designs.
In groups, students will survey, design, sketch, build, and test a wheelchair access ramp using their
knowledge of slope.
Teacher Activity: Teacher will take students around the school to survey existing wheelchair access to their
school and will try it out in a wheelchair. Teacher will facilitate a discussion.
Student Activity:
1. In groups, students will design and sketch a wheelchair access ramp.
2. Using popsicle sticks and tape, student groups will build their design.
3. Using a matchbox car, meter stick, and timer, student groups will test their design, investigating the
impact of different slopes on their design.
4. Groups are required to investigate five different slopes and document the results in a table and graph.
Groups present their design sketches and reasoning before the class.
Student Activity:
1. Using chart paper and markers, student groups will prepare their design and reasoning
behind their design.
2. Groups should be sure to include the data collected (slopes and results) during testing.
3. Groups will present a 3 – 5 minute summary of their design, test, and conclusions.
Teacher Activity: Monitor progress of each group.
Explain the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its impact on wheelchair ramp access to public
facilities. Have student groups evaluate their design with that of ADA requirements. Student groups
should alter their design to meet these requirements.
Teacher Activity: Teacher presents a mini lesson on the Americans with Disabilities Act – what the law requires
for wheelchair access to public facilities.
Student Activity:
1. Student groups should examine the design of their ramp and ensure the slope of their ramp does not
exceed the ADA required slope ( 1/12 - every inch of rise requires 12 inches of ramp).
2. If their slope exceeds to ADA required slope, student groups are to amend their design and retest using
matchbox cars.
Students extend their knowledge and understanding of slope and apply to
real-world situations.
Student Activity: Students brainstorm five everyday examples where slope
(other than wheelchair ramps) is important and why it matters.
Teacher Activity: Answer questions, as necessary.

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