Middle School Design Challenge

Middle School Design Challenge
Exhibit Renovation Design Overview and Criteria 2014-2015
In the first annual ZooMS design challenge, a ‘real’ problem faced by Zoo Keepers and staff at the Minnesota
Zoo is presented to students who act as engineers in developing a solution. This challenge will allow students
to use their creativity and STEM skills during the engineering design process in order to best solve the problem
and present a solution. Selected students will be invited to showcase their design challenge solution in the 1st
Annual ZooMS Design Exhibition on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the Minnesota Zoo for a chance to win a
close encounter experience with one of our animals!
The Challenge
Exhibit designers are faced with the challenge of renovating the Discovery Bay Clubhouse Cove. During this
renovation, the Minnesota Zoo hopes to relocate the estuary touch pool inside of Clubhouse Cove to open up
space for special events. This will also allow for better movement for visitors within Discovery Bay. Aquarists
would like to position the touch pool so the Leopard Shark and Southern Stingrays in the exhibit would have a
break from visitors in an area of the pool. The current round touch pool design allows access from all angles
for visitors, but leaves little room for escape. Help exhibit designers develop a design for Clubhouse Cove to
fit its six current tank exhibit, keep the tide pool in its same location, add a new and improved estuary touch
pool. Assist by also finding a way to make this new space engaging, safe, and interactive for the animals and
visitors of all sizes.
The Task
ZooMS Middle School Design challenge will require students to redesign the Clubhouse Cove exhibit area to house
a new and improved touch pool. Students will need to make special considerations such as:
How will your touch pool design keep the visitors safe, while also remaining interactive to many visitors at once?
Will your new touch pool consider the Aquarists request in finding a way to improve the aesthetics, space and quality
for housing sharks and rays?
Can your new renovation improve the quality of the visitors experience throughout the entire space?
How big should the touch pool be while trying to keep the six current tanks and tide pool within Clubhouse Cove?
Monk Seals
Shark Reef
Shark Reef
Monk Seals
Current Clubhouse Cove
Current Clubhouse Cove
without aquarium exhibits
The Solution
Student submissions will need to include a 3-D scale model and/or detailed drawing of the renovated
Discovery Bay based on current Discovery Bay blue prints.
A poster tri-fold will be evaluated for the following information:
 Research: Does the exhibit design demonstrate knowledge and research of touch pool design as
well as leopard shark and southern stingrays?
 Evidence of the design process: Evolution of design sketches and changes made throughout
 Constraints: What factors prevented a perfect design? Could your solution exist in real life?
 Solutions: Does the newly designed touch pool fit into Clubhouse Cove with the current exhibits
and allow for visitors to interact easily? Does the new location and design best serve the animals
and visitors in a creative and engaging way?
The Evaluation
Renovation designs will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Does the proposed design address a solution that addresses the needs of various parties mentioned?
(Zookeepers, stingrays and sharks, visitors, event staff)
2. How well is the Discovery Bay Clubhouse Cove space used? Could the design exist in real life?
3. Did the steps to arrive at a solution clearly demonstrate the engineering process?
Students will be selected to participate for the ZooMS Design Exhibition in one of two ways depending on the
classroom teacher’s decision between two options:
Option 1
To make students selections, ZooMS Education Staff can join your class for an Exhibit Day to evaluate and listen to
student presentations. Three designs will be chosen to participate in the exhibition. Appointments for ZooMS Staff
Exhibition Day participation must be scheduled 2 weeks in advance and no later than March 2nd, 2015. Contact
[email protected] for more information.
Option 2
Teachers may use the evaluation criteria rubric and host their own Design Exhibition with the teacher submitting
the top three student designs to the Minnesota Zoo before March 2nd to be involved in the Design Exhibition.
Contact [email protected] for exhibition registration of winning designs.
The Conditions
Open to all 6th- 8th Graders in Middle School or Jr. High
Students may work individual or in a maximum group of four.
All teacher application forms need to be submitted to the Minnesota Zoo by September 19th.
All accepted applicants are required to participate in a free full day ZooMS: Design Challenge
Workshop on Thursday, September 25th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Minnesota Zoo. This
workshop will officially introduce the design challenge, offer authentic background knowledge,
classroom research resources, and logistical support for engaging students in the challenge.
2014-2015 Teacher Application Form
The first 10 teacher applications reviewed and accepted will receive a $200 stipend upon completion of the
workshop and Design Challenge Exhibition! An email will be sent to confirm an accepted application with
follow up instructions.
To download the entry form for the 2014-2015 ZooMS Design Challenge please click HERE
Important Dates
Closing Date for Application Forms
ZooMS: Design Challenge Workshop
Closing Date for Design Challenge Winner Submissions
ZooMS Design Challenge Exhibition
Friday, September 19th.
Thursday, September 25th
Monday, March 2nd
Wednesday, March 18th
Contact Kristi Berg for further questions and information: Email: [email protected] Phone: 952-431-9243
Design Challenge Teacher Application
Contact Teacher
School Name
School Address
How did you hear about the
ZooMS Challenge?
Estimated Number of Students Participating
Estimated Number of Expected Designs (1-4 students per design)
Which Design Challenge will your Students be Participating in?
Elementary Enrichment (3-6)
Middle School Exhibit Design(6-8)
The first 10 teacher applications accepted will be eligible for a $200 stipend upon participation in the
o ZooMS: Design Challenge Workshop on September 25th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
o Submission of a minimum of 3 student designs to the Design Challenge Exhibition on March 18
o Completion of a brief reflection survey about the first year of the ZooMS challenge
*Confirmation and ZooMS design challenge details to follow upon receipt of application*
I am able to participate in the September 25th workshop from 9:00-3:00.(Stipend eligibility requirement)
Unfortunately, I am unable to commit to September 25th, but would like to receive design challenge
resource packet for participation in the March 18th ZooMS Design Challenge Exhibition.
*CEUs will be available
Application Questions
1. How do you plan to use this Design Challenge in your Classroom?
2. How do you believe your students will benefit from participating in the ZooMS Design Challenge?
3. How do you believe incorporating STEM challenges into your classroom will affect your teaching?
4. Why did you choose to participate in this challenge?
Submit Applications by Friday September 19
Attention: Kristi Berg
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Email: Kristi. [email protected]
Fax: 952-997-4838
Date / Time received _______
ZooMS Initials __________
Confirmation Email __________
Resource Packet _________
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