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TAME Engineering Adventure: Crane Challenge

TAME Engineering Adventure: Crane Challenge!

Welcome to TAME Engineering Adventures! Every month we strive to bring you two engineering activities (this month we will provide one warm-up activity and one practice competition activity) that will help you challenge your students with hands-on learning. 

This October's Engineering Adventure is to construct a crane! We provide a terrific video from Curiosity Machine, which stars a Latina engineer illustrating both a simple crane and a complex crane with pulleys and a crank. Next we share the 2012 State Competition Engineering Design Challenge! It’s perfect for a pre-Divisional warm-up. 

It's a great way to get your Club members to start thinking like engineers in preparation for our STEM Competitions.




Warm-up Adventure: Crane Challenge
Have your students watch this video from Curiosity Machine, which stars a Latina engineer illustrating both a simple crane and a complex crane with pulleys and a crank. Provide supplies like string, disposable cups, tape, and drinking straws, then challenge your students to decide how they would build a crane of their own.
 
If they get stuck, have them watch how Curiosity Machine built a simple crane with this video, and a more complex crane with this video.


TAME Warm-up Engineering Adventure



Competition Adventure: Aggie Crane 2012 State Challenge

This adventure is taken straight from the TAME competition archives to help your students prepare for our Divisional STEM Competitions. 

The objective is to design and build a crane to deliver marbles to the top of the very tall Aggie stadium, Kyle Field.  The objective is for each team to design a versatile crane that scores the most points based on several criteria: the height that the crane can lift a load, the ability of the crane to pivot on the vertical axis, and the maximum load it can lift.  The team with the highest total number of points wins.  If this were a real Divisional or State STEM Competition, awards would be given to teams that design the most innovative working models.

Supplies needed:

3 small boxes tape
3 paper cups 2 marbles
4 large paper clips 2 rubber bands
4 toothpicks 1 clothespin
1 pair of scissors 4 large hex nuts
8 feet of string 3 sharpened pencils
1 gallon zip bag 2 pipe cleaners



TAME Competition Engineering Adventure

This downloads a PDF version of the 2012 Engineering Design Challenge Team Instructions.

Click here to download the 2012 Engineering Design Challenge Judges' Instructions to go with this challenge.



 

Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS) for this Adventure

Middle School TEKS Tie-Ins:

6th Grade Science

  • Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology
  • Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student
  • Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials
  • Compare and contrast potential and kinetic energy
  • Identify and describe the changes in position, direction, and speed of an object when acted upon by unbalanced forces
  • Measure and graph changes in motion
  • Students can investigate how inclined planes and pulleys can be used to change the amount of force to move an object.

6th Grade Math

  • Students can record measurements on all aspects of the crane
  • Plotting data to be able to set up graphs and calculate mean, median and mode and range of information
  • Geometry and spatial reasoning 
  • Apply mathematics to everyday life, society, and the workplace
  • Model and analyze situations and solve problems

7th Grade Science

  • Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology
  • Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student
  • Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials
  • Students can contrast situations where work is done with different amounts of force to situations where no work is done such as moving a box with a crane and without a crane, or standing still

7th Grade Math

  • Study the proportionality of the different sizes of cranes and how that can affect the design and range of weight the crane can pick up
  • Solve mathematical and real-world problems involving different and similar shapes, and scale drawings

8th Grade Science

  • Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology
  • Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student
  • Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials
  • Demonstrate and calculate how unbalanced forces change the speed or direction of an object's motion
  • Students can investigate and describe applications of Newton's law of inertia, law of force and acceleration, and law of action-reaction such as in vehicle restraints, sports activities, amusement park rides, Earth's tectonic activities, and rocket launches.

8th Grade Math

  • Scatterplots and analyzing data to address questions of association such as linear, non-linear, and no association between bivariate data
  • Study the proportionality of the different sizes of cranes and how that can affect the design and range of weight the crane can pick up
  • Order a set of real numbers arising from mathematical and real-world contexts

High School TEKS Tie-Ins:

Chemistry

  • Students can understand energy and its forms, including kinetic and potential energies
  • Students can understand the law of conservation of energy and the processes of heat transfer

Geometry

  • Identifying 3-dimensional figures with its 2-dimensional cross-sections when constructing and designing the crane and its parts
  • Applying the Pythagorean theorem with finding out certain measurements of right triangles
  • Determine the lengths of sides and measures of angles in a right triangle by applying the trigonometric ratios sine, cosine, and tangent to solve problems
  • Apply the formula for the area of regular polygons to solve problems using appropriate units of measure

Physics/Integrated Physics and Chemistry

  • Students can investigate how an object's motion changes only when a net force is applied, such as lifting objects with their crane
  • Recognize and demonstrate that objects and substances in motion have kinetic energy 
  • Demonstrate common forms of potential energy, including gravitational
  • Demonstrate that moving electric charges produce magnetic forces and moving magnets produce electric forces; (if magnets are used)
  • Students can investigate the law of conservation of energy
  • Calculate the effect of forces on objects, including the law of inertia, the relationship between force and acceleration, and the nature of force pairs between objects
  • Develop and interpret free-body force diagrams
  • Students can identify and describe motion relative to different frames of reference

Principles of Technology

  • Students can describe the nature and identify everyday examples of magnetic forces and fields when picking up objects with a magnet attached to their crane (if using magnets)
  • Students can describe the transformational process between work, potential energy, and kinetic energy (work-energy theorem) and use their crane as an example to analyze and calculate the relationships among work, kinetic energy, and potential energy


Bonus:

Attach a magnet to end of crane and pick up objects with it (Physics) and measure how much weight the crane can pick up.

Share this absolutely stunning video from 2012: Liebherr Crane pulls off a truly amazing feat of engineering with some of the world's biggest cranes. Discuss what your students would need to calculate if their boss one day asked them to pull off an event like this.
 


 

Looking for more? 

These ideas come from our curated idea boards on Pinterest. If you liked these, you'll love our Engineering: Activities for All Ages board!

With over 4,000 pins organized into 47 different boards, TAME's Pinterest presence is specially curated to help teachers, parents, and students of all ages get excited about STEM. 


TAME Engineering Adventure: Construct a Crane!


By Lindsey Carmichael, October 19, 2015.

·         6th Grade

o   Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology

o   Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student

o   Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials

o   Compare and contrast potential and kinetic energy

o   Identify and describe the changes in position, direction, and speed of an object when acted upon by unbalanced forces

o   Measure and graph changes in motion

o   Students can investigate how inclined planes and pulleys can be used to change the amount of force to move an object.

·         7th Grade

o   Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology

o   Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student

o   Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials

o   Students can contrast situations where work is done with different amounts of force to situations where no work is done such as moving a box with a crane and without a crane, or standing still

·         8th Grade

o   Students can design and implement experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology

o   Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student

o   Students can identify advantages and limitations of the crane models such as size, scale, properties, and materials

o   Demonstrate and calculate how unbalanced forces change the speed or direction of an object's motion

o   Students can investigate and describe applications of Newton's law of inertia, law of force and acceleration, and law of action-reaction such as in vehicle restraints, sports activities, amusement park rides, Earth's tectonic activities, and rocket launches….

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