To display the results from the previous activity, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved. They problem solve and apply their understanding of see-saws and lever systems to create balanced mobiles.
This image shows the relative positions of the fulcrum, load and effort in a first, second and third class lever. First class lever is load, fulcrum, effort. Second class lever is fulcrum, load, effort. Third class lever is fulcrum, effort, load.
In this activity, learners explore center of gravity, or balance point, of stacked blocks. Simple wooden blocks can be stacked so that the top block extends completely past the end of the bottom block, seemingly in a dramatic defiance of gravity. A mathematical pattern can be noted in the stacking.
In this activity, students explore how trebuchets were used during the Middle Ages to launch projectiles over or through castle walls as well as how they are used today in events such as Punkin’ Chunkin’. Students work as teams of engineers and research how to design and build their own trebuchets from scratch while following a select number of constraints. They test their trebuchets, evaluate their results through several quantitative analyses, and present their results and design process to the class.
In this open-ended design activity, students use everyday materials milk cartons, water bottles, pencils, straws, candy to build small-scale transportation devices. They incorporate the use two simple machines a wheel and axle, and a lever into their designs. Student pairs choose their materials and engineer solutions suitable to convey pyramid-building materials (small blocks of clay). They race their carts/trucks, measuring distance, time and weight; and then calculate speed.