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# Summer SAVY, Session 6 Day 3, Creative Contraptions (1st – 2nd)

Posted by on Wednesday, July 24, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

A Wow Wednesday!  We are beginning to “work” on more problems with our analytical processes.  Ms. Byrd brought a problem from her own backyard and worked through how she came up with a creative contraption to get her canoe out of the Harpeth River after a float.  How to safely get a 91-pound canoe out of the river 20 feet below her backyard bank each week after enjoying animal watching and fishing?  What aspects of the problem are unique?  What small tasks need to be completed? What simple machines could be used to complete the series of tasks and how could they be combined? What problems can your family identify that can be solved with simple machines or a compound machine? Students are just beginning to observe and think critically on their own, so this is exciting.  We will be supplying materials for the plans they are creating at SAVY and they will build on Thursday and continue on Friday morning.  To clarify, no project building takes place at home but be prepared to receive some well-developed plans and possibly some very creative contraptions at Friday dismissal.  We have discussed that some projects are too large in scope for a quick build and some students will only have plans while others may have completed prototypes.  Whatever is going to be completed is individualized and just the right amount for our week’s learning and work.  🙂

Students extended their understanding of levers with an experiment and we were delighted with the surprising data collected. Moving the fulcrum closer to the load on a 1st class lever had a forceful (pun intended) result!  We also observed that same concept with a vice and a movable rotating handle (level).  We were blown away to learn that screws not only act as fasteners but can transform rotational forces to linear forces (again the vice).  Let’s not forget our work to use a wedge to separate boards fixed with either nails or screws.  Which do you think was separated quicker or with less effort?  Why? Could you have predicted that one was so secure that it could not be separated at all? What are the implications for choosing building materials in a home?
Finally, we explored several common materials for their properties and uses and considered unconventional uses.  We looked at some sample problems and how simple machines or compound machines could be used in solutions.  Your family might enjoy viewing a Giant Rube Goldberg Machine and work to identify the simple machines incorporated. The link is below. If you want to explore some materials and building challenges at home, check out the other link below from Destination Imagination.  This is just an extension offering; no expectation to complete.  If you enjoy this, you might work to find or form a DI Team in your own learning community!
Ms. Hannah and I look forward to seeing your student tomorrow!