Mission Possible (Engineering an Alarm) #4826


This was my favorite lesson by far! I especially loved the engineering design process and how clear the steps were in this and the nightlight engineering. This would work well in our engineering unit.
This had a lot of setup issues for students. Getting the pins right and hearing the sound in our classroom proved to give them some issues. We were able to work around this by turning it into a game and having everyone take turns. The group work helped significantly.
As the teacher in the room, I would need to ensure students understood where all the cables and parts needed to go. The images were extremely helpful and students were better at putting them in then me because of their tiny hands. Some students had trouble thinking they didn’t get the pins in all the way and and pushed too hard while others worried they would break them if they pushed too hard. Practice helps for sure!


@ArdusatExplorer-9148 I love the idea of having students create their own challenge. Maybe even have them think of who this would benefit and get them focused on the empathy part of the design process!


Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum?
This lesson was a lot of fun and more challenging than the previous ones. I’m not sure how I could incorporate it into my regular curriculum (I teach middle grades science). But, it would be a wonderful one for my afterchool STEM club. I think it would be challenging for them. But, once they figured it out, I would love to see what else they can do with it. There are lots of possible applications.

Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support to be successful?
I think the wiring on this one would prove to be challenging. There are lots of connections and it’s easy to be off by a row on the breadboard.

What does a successful teacher actively do during this lesson?
I would expect that I would have to help guide them through the troubleshooting of their completed circuits. This is such an important skill for them to learn and this could potentially provide an opporunity to practice.

What does “student success” look like?
Student succes would, at a minimum, be getting the circuit as described to work. But, I would hope that most students would be able to then go further and come up with some applications for it and/or some modifications that would make it better (for example, could it play a noise and light an LED so a hearing impaired student would be alerted as well?).


I thought this lesson was challenging but fun. I could see me trying this out with my middle school robotics students. I would love to see how they use the laser and mirrors to set up their alarms. I also think they would find the wiring a little challenging. Hopefully, their eyesight is better than mine! It was easy to get a little off when connecting the wires. If I used this activity, I would have to help them with the wiring. Minimally, I would like the students to be able to get their alarm to work.