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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2017, Grade 5 Science and Technology/Engineering

  Question 21: Open-Response  
A student is designing a cat carrier that can be placed under a seat on an airplane. The carrier must meet the following requirements:
  • The maximum carrier size is 18 in. long by 13 in. wide by 8 in. high.
  • The carrier must be lightweight.
  • Air must be able to flow easily through the carrier.
  • The carrier must have soft sides.
  • The bottom of the carrier must be waterproof.
  • The carrier must be able to be folded for storage.
  • The carrier must have space for the cat to turn around and lie down.
The diagram below shows the design features of a prototype that the student built.
diagram of prototype cat airplane box
  1. Identify two requirements the student was trying to meet by using cotton cloth for the sides and top of the carrier.
  2. Identify two design features (characteristics) of the prototype that do not meet the requirements. Explain how you know each feature does not meet the requirements.
The student included a flap in the prototype so a cat could be easily moved in and out. When the flap is closed, the magnets on the flap should be attracted to the magnets on the top of the carrier. However, when the student tried to close the flap, the magnets on the top of the carrier pushed the flap away.
  1. Explain why the magnets pushed the flap away and how the magnets could be fixed.

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 to identify relevant design features for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem and of how magnets have poles that repel and attract each other. The response correctly identifies two requirements the student was trying to meet by using cotton cloth. The response correctly identifies and clearly explains two features of the prototype that do not meet the requirements. The response also explains why the magnets pushed the flap away and how the magnets could be fixed.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how to identify relevant design features for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem and of how magnets have poles that repel and attract each other.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how to identify relevant design features for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem and of how magnets have poles that repel and attract each other.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how to identify relevant design features for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem and of how magnets have poles that repel and attract each other.
0 The 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.

Grade 5 Science and Technology/Engineering

Question 8: Life Science
Question 21: Technology/Engineering

Return to the MCAS 2017 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: July 26, 2017
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