I do not get why you make cubes, wouldn't piramides or "pillars"(=cilinders with wider top and botom than the middle) work better. I think they would as they channel the energy and force to the table skipping the egg. Could you explain this?
Here are the first three things I tell my students.
1. Imagine where the force is coming from. Where will you need the most support? Hint: A roof will NOT help protect your egg.
2. This is a three dimensional project. (You need to plan out the walls, build the walls laying flat on the table, let the walls dry, and then stand the walls up and glue them together. Make sure you check out the picture that shows what NOT to do.)
3. Don't waste your time and wait for toothpicks to dry. There is always something you can work on.
I start class with a warm up (do now) on one of Newton's Laws and how it relates to the project. After reviewing student generated responses, they can get their project and start / continue building. They will need a refill on glue at the start of class each day.
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Let's keep it simple!
In this project, students must build a contraption that can protect an egg from being crushed. The only materials they are allowed to work with are flat wooden toothpicks and wood glue. The force being applied to the egg contraption is in the form of a 5 gallon bucket falling from above. If you're a teacher friend, continue reading below. If not... don't bother with the reasons for the experiment and skip to the fun part.
You can check out the videos on step 4 for a better idea of what happens to the final product!
Objectives: Student will demonstrate ability to...
1. plan and build a device to protect an egg from forces acting on it.
2. identify the forces acting on their egg contraption and build accordingly.
3. compare and contrast what worked vs. what didn't work.
4. reflect upon what they would do differently.
5. collaborate in small groups throughout the process.
6. calculate the forces acting on their egg (momentum, force, acceleration, speed, velocity)
7. identify where Newton's 3 laws of motion can be observed in the schematic of the experiment.
This lesson can be easily differentiated. (less toothpicks, less time to build, increased mass in the bucket, higher drop height... you get it)
Students can work in pairs or go at it alone. I do not recommend bigger groupings.
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