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. Engage Introduce and draw from students’ previous experiences with wheelchair ramps. Student Activity: Have students share experiences using a wheelchair. Teacher Activity: Show pictures/videos of various wheelchair ramp designs. Explore 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. Explain 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. Extend/Expand 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. Evaluate 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.