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Aviary Architect


Source Institutions

    Museum of Science, Boston

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Aviary Architect

In this activity, learners are challenged to design, build and test a birdhouse that will stay cool in the sun. Learners investigate concepts such as energy efficiency, properties of light, and heating and cooling principles while they design, build, and test an energy-efficient roof for a birdhouse. Learners test several roofing materials under a heat lamp and record how much the heat rises over time. Using this information, they design a composite roof to achieve their design goal of keeping the birdhouse warm or cool, then test again to see if they have engineered a successful solution. There is also a related game -- Aviary Architect -- that you can play on your computer! The URL link for the game is included on the bottom of the page, under "Other".

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Craft Birdhouses (with foam plug)
  • Foam Core (varying thicknesses)
  • Poster board (different colors)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cardboard
  • Cardstock
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Insulating Foam
  • Indoor/outdoor digital thermometers
  • Heat Lamps (250 Watt)
  • Stopwatch
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
    • Technology
      • Manufacturing
      • Construction
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer

Informal Categories


  • Animals
  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • Museum of Science, Boston, 2005

Funding Sources:

  • The Gordon Foundation
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services

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