Improving Planning Skills - The Sandwich Challenge

I heard about this idea when I was running a workshop. Cisco from the International School in Prague mentioned that they have their students make sandwiches in order to improve their method writing skills. I used this activity in preparation for one of the first planning labs that my students would undertake. The students loved the activity, enjoyed eating their results and hopefully remember to write more detailed, controlled experimental designs.

In fact, now, after repeating this for several years, when reading a lab method, I can say to a student, now that wouldn't make a very good sandwich and they know what I mean.

Student Task

You will be provided with bread, cream cheese, mango chutney and tomatoes. We will have spoons but no weighing device.

Write a scientific method for the sandwich you wish to be made for you. Ideally you make this sandwich at home and take photos to prove to us what it should look like.

Bring your printed out method to class and I will provide the equipment. No method; no sandwich!

Swap your methods with a class mate or your teacher will allocate them for you.

Follow the instructions exactly. Imagine you have never seen a sandwich before.

When you receive your sandwich, take a picture and evaluate how effective your method was at producing your sandwich.


Here's a funny version I found which gives you some clues.

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