South Fayette Elementary students had an awesome week of engineering during Eco Engineers! Our week of camp was chock full of exciting challenges that had campers putting their heads together to come up with creative solutions! During one of our favorite activities, campers took to the drawing board with ideas to make an earthquake proof tower. We had to consider what sorts of design elements would be the most successful when our towers were stress tested on the earthquake table. Like real engineers, we had to consider how to create tensile strength that could endure forces acting upon our structures. We considered how the height of our structure could introduce new challenges, and even how “style” is a real-world consideration that professionals must consider when designing a tower.
Our campers considered a variety of options to clean up an oil spill in our model. We learned about and tried out mini versions of the current real world solutions for such a catastrophe, including some chemical responses – surfactants to break oil down and polymers to turn the spill into jelly – as well as mechanical measures for cleanup like the use of booms, skimmers and barriers. Our campers found that cleaning an oil spill is no easy task!
We brought creativity to the design process of our race cars. Using recyclables and reusables, we considered how, as engineers, we could make a racer that could not only move with ease, but could also withstand a test crash and keep our crash test dummy safe! We also examined the role of physical forces on our motorless mobiles – how might an inclined plane affect the potential and kinetic energy related to our cars? What role does inertia play in our crash test? Campers had a great time creating, crashing, revising, racing, and crashing their creations again!
Check out our racer videos!