What Is the Positive Side of Failure in Science?
“Fail early, fail often, in order to succeed sooner.” —Thomas Kelley
Kids are taught to avoid failure, that failure is a bad thing, but it’s really just part of the. It's really important to give kids an opportunity to learn what failure is in an engineering context. It actually has opportunities to spill over into daily life and to help kids recognize that if you fail once, it doesn't mean you're a goner or a loser; it only means that you learn something—and something of great value.
Failure in the Classroom
The idea of having kids design and build things and then test them to failure has been done for many years. In the(NGSS), students are expected to . And often, this entails evaluating the designs for not only structure and qualities (e.g., how much weight can it hold?), but also in what ways the designs failed.
There's a failure site—that’s where it broke. There's a failure mode; for example, if it’s a tower, it might buckle or bend, or it might tear loose from its moorings. If it was taped down to a table, there are areas that would tear loose. Some structures fail at the joints; the joints might be the weakest point.
The students have to figure out what actually went wrong so that they can redesign. For this reason, engineering is known as an; that means you do it again and again, so that each time it improves.
After the first time they build something—let’s say it’s a bridge—that's an opportunity for the teacher to step in and offer some suggestions. For example, the teacher may have the students build some structures with straws, just to illustrate that theof something you construct really makes a difference. These ideas are introductions to the field of architecture and structural engineering.
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