Friday, September 27, 2013

Engineering Challenge (Fall '13, Week 1 of 8)

We've started a new enrichment class this year, called "Engineering Challenge"!  It is more goal-directed than the Engineering & Design class last year.

In our first class, we had to support a heavy dictionary at least five inches off a table, using only a single sheet of paper, and optional tape.  After a few mis-starts, most groups succeeded! The most common solution was to roll the paper up into a cylinder. Some groups made two or more skinnier cylinders, to improve balance.

What We Learned:
* A floppy material, like copy paper, can be given strength by rolling it up.

* If the dictionary isn't balanced well on top of the structure, even a decent structure can quickly crumple and collapse.

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