the WGBH Educational Foundation
the National Science Foundation
This four-part interactive simulation explores some of the most important forces to be considered in structural engineering. It's a fun way for kids in Grades 4-8 to learn about compression, tension, torque, and shear -- and then apply this knowledge to further explore structural load. In the "Materials Lab" section, they stretch and compress 8 different types of building materials: wood, plastic, aluminum, brick, concrete, reinforced concrete, cast iron, and steel. Last, in the "Shapes Lab", they choose from rectangular, arched, and triangular shapes and test their stability.
Teachers' Domain is an NSF-funded pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). It is a growing collection of videos, lessons, and activities compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.
3-5: 3B/E2. Even a good design may fail. Sometimes steps can be taken ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of failure, but it cannot be entirely eliminated.
6-8: 3B/M1. Design usually requires taking into account not only physical and biological constraints, but also economic, political, social, ethical, and aesthetic ones.
6-8: 3B/M4a. Systems fail because they have faulty or poorly matched parts, are used in ways that exceed what was intended by the design, or were poorly designed to begin with.
3C. Issues in Technology
3-5: 3C/E4. Factors such as cost, safety, appearance, environmental impact, and what will happen if the solution fails must be considered in technological design.
6-8: 3C/M3. Throughout history, people have carried out impressive technological feats, some of which would be hard to duplicate today even with modern tools. The purposes served by these achievements have sometimes been practical, sometimes ceremonial.
6-8: 3C/M8. Scientific laws, engineering principles, properties of materials, and construction techniques must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions to problems.
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
3-5: 4D/E6. All materials have certain physical properties, such as strength, hardness, flexibility, durability, resistance to water and fire, and ease of conducting heat.
3-5: 4F/E1bc. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
8. The Designed World
8B. Materials and Manufacturing
3-5: 8B/E2. Humans have produced a wide variety of materials, such as steel, plastic, and nylon, that do not appear in nature.
6-8: 8B/M1. The choice of materials for a job depends on their properties.
6-8: 8B/M3. Advances in manufacturing processes can reduce costs and improve products.
6-8: 8B/M5. Efforts to find replacements for existing materials are driven by an interest in finding materials that are cheaper to obtain or produce or that have more desirable properties.
%0 Electronic Source %D September 30, 2011 %T Teachers' Domain: Forces Lab %I WGBH Educational Foundation %V 2013 %N 6 December 2013 %8 September 30, 2011 %9 application/flash %U http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfe.bbforces/
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