||Women are beginning to take more interest in the study of
engineering. Find out what percentage of women make up the engineering population. Also,
read about 5 different female engineers and their field of engineering.
||Devise a list of products that either keep things warm or
cold, for example a refrigerator, an insulated lunch box, a thermos, etc. Why are they able to
maintain cold or warm temperatures? Construct a product that you think will keep an ice cube
from melting for an hour. Use the Zoom Keep-a-Cube activity as a guide
||Did you know that domes have been around for almost 2000
years? Buckminster Fuller, an engineer, designed a dome in the 1950's called a geodesic dome.
These domes use triangles as sides and use fewer materials than other structures with the same
amount of space inside. Make a list of famous structures that use triangles and create your
own geodesic dome using gumdrops and toothpicks (See Gumdrop Dome activity).
||Industrial engineers analyze and improve the way systems of
machines and people work. They may think of a new procedure for a hospital emergency room to
transport patients or find a way to operate equipment so workers are less at risk of injury.
Take an activity in your weekly routine that could be changed in the way it is done so it would
take less time and/or decrease the amount of energy/materials used. Some good ideas include:
preparing a meal, structure of troop meeting, organization of a closet or other storage space,
||Nowadays, engineers are developing many different types of
vehicles. New types of vehicles invented are solar-powered cars and hybrid cars (cars that use
gasoline and electricity). Why are engineers making cars that don't use any or little
gasoline? Read about one of these cars and design a vehicle for the future that uses other
fuels than gasoline.
||Birds, insects, and airplanes all use different sized and
shaped wings to fly. The different sizes and shapes are good for different types of flight.
Make a hoop glider using a non-bendable straw and two strips of paper. Try changing the shape
of the strips or adding more strips to see if it changes the flight of the hoop glider. Also
experiment with a toilet paper, paper towel, or gift wrap tube. Make a chart of all your
different trials. There are many unique situations where engineers need to find a solution
that uses limited material and/or does not harm the surrounding environment.
||Rainforests are very delicate and are being destroyed
everyday. Scientists are very interested in studying different life forms that may have
medicinal value. However, it is difficult to set up an observation site that can support
researchers and their tools. Design and make a prototype of a treetop walkway using the
materials and directions of the Build a Treetop Walkway activity.
||Have you ever wondered why wheels on roller blades and
scooters move easily and keep spinning after you fall down? The wheels move easily because of
a ball bearing. A ball bearing has two parts where tiny balls roll between them, making it
easier for the two parts to roll over each other. Investigate how fast objects roll under
varying conditions by doing the Let it Roll activity.
||Many fields of engineering test the durability of materials
before deciding which materials to use in a project to get the best results. Take three
different types of fabric (i.e. cotton, nylon, denim, felt) and test their wear and tear. Use
the activity guide and sample chart to complete the activity found in the Engineering program
box or refer to
Compare Fabric Materials activity
||In addition to being a great toy, the SLINKY is an excellent
device to teach various properties of physics. The Slinky tends to resist change in its motion.
Because of this inertia, if placed at the top of the stairs, it remains there. At this
point it has potential or stored energy. But once it is started down the stairs,
gravity affects it and the potential energy turns into kinetic energy and the
Slinky gracefully turns down the stairs. Try the experiments in the manual (in the Engineering
program box) and try to predict what will happen next.