The Engineering Book: From The Catapult To The ...
This is the latest in the bestselling Sterling Milestones series. It provides a detailed look at 250 milestones in the discipline of Engineering. It is written by the creator of the How Stuff Works series. Engineering is where human knowledge meets real-world problems and solves them. It's the source of some of our greatest inventions, from the wheel to the jet engine. Marshall Brain, creator of the How Stuff Works series and a professor at the Engineering Entrepreneurs Programme at NCSU, provides a detailed look at 250 milestones in the discipline. He covers the various areas, including chemical, aerospace and computer engineering, from ancient history to the present. The topics include architectural wonders like the Acropolis, the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower; transportation advances such as the high-spped bullet train; medical innovations, including the artificial heart and kidney dialysis; developments in communications, such as the mobile phone; as well as DNA fingerprinting, the large Hadron Collider, drones and more.
The Engineering Book: From the Catapult to the ...
National Engineers Week, Feb 18-24, is a week-long celebration of engineering designed to get children and their families more familiar with the world of engineering. Check out their web site at www.discovere.org for lots of fun activities to make engineering come to life for children. And, consider registering to become a Girl Day Role Model on Thursday, Feb. 22 by planning a fun engineering activity for girls.A perfect activity for engineering week is catapult engineering. We made catapults during a recent Library Lab at Cortelyou Library; not only are they easy to make, but the kids enjoyed decorating them as much as they did using them! You will need about 12 large Popsicle sticks, several rubber bands, a cupcake liner or medium-sized lid, some pompoms, and a ruler or measuring tape.
Backyard Engineers is a game about the engineering design process. In Backyard Engineers, players create catapults to launch water balloons and win battles in the great neighborhood balloon fight. Players will need different catapults to meet different challenges, and will have to balance design characteristics (like mobility, energy use, stability, and efficiency) with their goals as they try to build the best catapult for the job. After making design decisions, players can test their catapults and adjust their designs before joining the battle and laying siege to the backyard.
Parents need to know that Backyard Engineers is an online game that helps kids think like engineers as they design their own homemade catapults to launch water balloons at neighborhood bullies. Players experiment with physics concepts and manipulate several catapult components -- such as gear ratios, arm lengths, and building materials -- in their quest to design the ultimate water-balloon launcher. It's easy enough to jump in, with helpful tutorials and extra instructional text throughout, but don't expect deep, content-based learning. The game is focused more on users getting a feeling for engineering and physics.
In BACKYARD ENGINEERS, players use engineering and problem-solving skills to take revenge on neighborhood bullies. Kids begin the game by working through several tutorial levels that teach players how to design, position, and operate catapults that fling water balloons at their antagonists. After the tutorial levels, kids try to design the best catapults possible to douse the bullies while using as few turns, movement steps, and balloons as possible. Before beginning to lob their balloons, kids design their catapult in the best way for that level, after they get a look at the current playing field. Each level has a different formation of enemies that can best be defeated by a certain kind of catapult or a combination of catapults. Players need to avoid hitting dogs while knocking down the bullies' hit points with splashes and direct hits.
This game does a good job of introducing kids to the ideas of design and iteration, the repeated testing of a design. It's fun to try out different catapult designs and to find ones that work with decent range and accuracy. But as the game goes on, it's too easy to rely on the same design over and over. It's possible to finish the game with top marks on all levels without changing designs more than once or twice. There's also no narrative progression; each level just presents a new puzzle to solve using the proper catapult combinations and the right moves. Bullies keep showing up to get soaked. Since building an effective and relatively efficient catapult can be done fairly easily, the lack of progression either through story resolution or increased stakes makes gameplay feel a bit stale. Backyard Engineers could've taken great steps in highlighting the challenges of engineering and construction, but its lack of depth makes the gameplay all wet.
Reason 3: Purpose. Start with the historical context of a catapult, link it to how we improve upon designs over time with the use of an engineering focused text (Rosie Revere Engineer!) and before you know it, your class will be learning with purpose and be excited to start designing the best catapult possible!
The following images are samples from a deck of cards illustrating engineering instruments in England in 1702. They illustrate a range of engineering specializations, that would eventually become known as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, geodesy and geomatics, and so on.
Aeronautical Engineering deals with aircraft design while Aerospace Engineering is a more modern term that expands the reach envelope of the discipline by including spacecraft design. Its origins can be traced back to the aviation pioneers around the turn of the 20th century although the work of Sir George Cayley has recently been dated as being from the last decade of the 18th century. Early knowledge of aeronautical engineering was largely empirical with some concepts and skills imported from other branches of engineering. Only a decade after the successful flights by the Wright brothers, the 1920s saw extensive development of aeronautical engineering through development of World War I military aircraft. Meanwhile, research to provide fundamental background science continued by combining theoretical physics with experiments.
Today, a catapult system is used to help jets launch from aircraft carriers. This system currently uses hydraulic pressure to push carriage along a long rail at very high speed. A plane, attached to the carriage, is pushed forward and the additional energy from the catapult helps it reach the speed necessary for take-off.
In today's demonstration you are going to store energy in a spring. That spring will have the potential to move, but it won't move until you let it move. The catapult you make is going to transfer energy from the spring to a marshmallow. The marshmallow will have potential energy until the catapult releases, then the marshmallow will have kinetic energy as it flies through the air.
-This site makes available some software developed by the faculty and students in the Civil Engineering Division of the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. Intended for use in undergraduate engineering education, three software programs that can be downloaded are: CME-Truss, a general-purpose truss analysis program, the Visual Stress Transfromer, an animated stress-transformation visualization program and Trebuchect for Windows, simulation software for the dynamic analysis of a medieval siege catapult. The West Point Bridge Designer is also available.
Currently, three semesters of the curriculum used by the three high schools are being marketed to homeschooled students nationwide under the title Catapult Engineering Academy (www.catapultea.com). These students are being mentored by graduates of the Hoover High and Spain Park Engineering Academies who are pursuing undergraduate engineering degrees at Auburn University. The mentors serve as instructional assistants and aid the students in understanding how the course content that they are studying in high school is preparing them for the university course content in engineering. 041b061a72