the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
the International Business Machines
This is a lesson plan that explores principles in civil engineering and architecture, developed to help teachers integrate engineering practices in the secondary classroom. Students work in teams to design and build a small dome frame out of everyday items that can hold a weight on top without collapsing. The driving question of the lesson: How do civil engineers design and build domes, taking into consideration the forces of compression and tension?
The lesson follows a module format that includes objectives and learner outcomes, problem sets, student guides, recommended reading, illustrated procedures, worksheets, and background information about the engineering connections. This resource is part of TryEngineering.org.
Editor's Note:Teachers: Try combining this lab with interactive digital labs on forces and structural materials. See Related Materials for links to two editor-recommended web resources from PBS and Teachers' Domain.
Metadata instance created
July 30, 2012
by Gnana Subramaniam
January 14, 2013
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 4, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
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.
9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.
8. The Designed World
8B. Materials and Manufacturing
6-8: 8B/M2. Manufacturing usually involves a series of steps, such as designing a product, obtaining and preparing raw materials, processing the materials mechanically or chemically, and assembling the product. All steps may occur at a single location or may occur at different locations.
11. Common Themes
3-5: 11B/E3. A model of something is similar to, but not exactly like, the thing being modeled. Some models are physically similar to what they are representing, but others are not.
9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.
12. Habits of Mind
12D. Communication Skills
6-8: 12D/M8. Explain a scientific idea to someone else, checking understanding and responding to questions.
6-8: 12D/M9. Prepare a visual presentation to aid in explaining procedures or ideas.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion Unit Title: Applications of Newton's Laws
Kids explore civil engineering and architecture as they design and build a small dome frame that can withstand a load of 120 grams on top without collapsing. Editor's Note: For a great 3-day unit that brings in concepts of compression and tension, blend this lesson with the "Teachers' Domain Forces Lab" and the PBS Building Big digital resources in Activities directly below.
<a href="http://www.compadre.org/precollege/items/detail.cfm?ID=12312">International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Design a Dome. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010.</a>
International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Design a Dome. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010. http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=78 (accessed 21 May 2013).
TryEngineering: Design a Dome. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010. 4 Dec. 2010. International Business Machines. 21 May 2013 <http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=78>.
%0 Electronic Source %D December 4, 2010 %T TryEngineering: Design a Dome %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %V 2013 %N 21 May 2013 %8 December 4, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=78
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