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Objectives

The overarching game objectives are to teach middle school students that:

  • Technological design is an iterative process that requires optimization and making trade-offs.
  • To create optimal solutions, designs are modeled, tested, evaluated, and modified.
  • Modeling helps us plan, visualize, and design the outside and the inside of a structure.
  • A small surface area to volume ratio in a geometric shape minimizes heat loss. An extension: Larger animals have a lower surface area to volume ratio than smaller animals, so they radiate less body heat per unit of mass, and stay warmer in cold climates (like a polar bear).
  • Materials are chosen on the basis of their properties and availability.
  • Structural design is based on style, convenience, climate, and function. In most cases, cost is an important factor.