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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2013, High School Technology/Engineering

  Question 23: Open-Response  
The illustration below shows the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station.
Shows a building that sits on legs.  It is elevated above the ground.  The prevailing wind blows left to right.  The left side slopes inward, so that there is more downward facing surface than upward facing surface.  Wind blows over the top and underneath the bottom of the building.
The research station is located in an area where more than eight inches of snow accumulates each year without ever melting. Architects utilized Bernoulli’s principle when designing the exterior of the building. The station has an adjustable elevation and is built facing the prevailing wind direction. The front of the building slopes downward and inward.
  1. Explain why the research station has an adjustable elevation.
  2. Describe in detail, using Bernoulli’s principle, how the inwardly sloping design of the building has an impact on snow management.
  3. Describe one other possible design feature that would make a building suitable for this environment. Explain your answer.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of how environmental conditions influence the design of buildings. The response clearly explains why the research station has an adjustable elevation and describes how the inwardly sloping design impacts snow management. The response also clearly describes and explains one other design feature for this environment.
4
3
The response demonstrates a general understanding of how environmental conditions influence the design of buildings.
2
The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how environmental conditions influence the design of buildings.
1
The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how environmental conditions influence the design of buildings.
0 Response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Technology/Engineering

Question 11: Construction and Manufacturing
Question 23: Fluid and Thermal Systems
Question 33: Fluid and Thermal Systems
Question 44: Electrical and Communication Systems
Question 45: Engineering Design

Return to the MCAS 2013 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: December 7, 2017
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