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A preview of the middle school engineering curriculum text from The Infinity Project.

A preview of the middle school engineering curriculum text from The Infinity Project.

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  • 1.                 STUDENT MANUAL             ENGINEERING   FOR TODAY’S MIDDLE SCHOOL                                THE INFINITY PROJECTSM Dallas, Texas 75275
  • 2. T H E I N F I N I T Y P R O J E C T SM The Infinity Project is a national leader in high-tech engineering curricula for secondary schools. Developed by renowned university engineering professors and education experts, this innovative program sparks students to pursue careers in engineering and technology. The Infinity Project helps school districts incorporate state-of-the-art engineering and advanced technology into the classroom. It gets students excited about math, science, and engineering by directly linking concepts to technologies they use everyday. Students learn to apply key concepts to create and design a variety of technologies through hands-on projects in a lab environment. The Infinity Project offers curriculum, instructional materials, low-cost leading edge classroom technology, and best-in-class professional development for teachers. Activities may be incorporated into existing math, science, or technology classes. Students explore math, science, and engineering concepts in a fun, challenging, and hands-on way. The Infinity Project is one of several programs sponsored by The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at Southern Methodist University. Created in partnership with Texas Instruments, this innovative curriculum facilitates collaboration among universities, K-12 educational organizations, and corporate entities to address the issues related to the shortfall in engineering and technical talent expected in the coming years. Authors: Scott C. Douglas, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Southern Methodist University Paul S. Krueger, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Southern Methodist University Jim Yu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Southern Methodist University Nathan Huntoon Doctoral Student, Electrical Engineering, Southern Methodist University Administration: Tammy L. Richards. P.E. Executive Director and Associate Dean, School of Engineering, Southern Methodist University Rosemary G. Aguilar Director, Professional Development and Curriculum, The Infinity Project Dianna L. McAtee Director, Marketing and Academic Relations, The Infinity Project Elaine R. Plybon Coordinator, The Infinity Project Editorial Development: Words & Numbers, Incorporated No part of this book, including interior design, cover design, images, or laboratory exercises may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without written permission from The Infinity Project. © 2008, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, www.infinity-project.org
  • 3. : i TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING DESIGN Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-1 Unit 1: Introduction to the Engineering Design Process- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-1 Section 1.1: The Work of Engineers - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-1 Section 1.2: Block Diagrams in Engineering Designs - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-7 Unit 2: Careers in Engineering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-9 Exercise 1.1 The Work of Engineers - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-13 Activity 1.2 Wheelchair Ramp Safety - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-15 Activity 1.3 Don't Scramble the Eggs - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-19 Exercise 1.4 Block Diagrams in Engineering Design - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-21 Exercise 2.1 Careers in Engineering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1-23 ENGINEERING IN THE NATURAL WORLD Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-1 Unit 1: Working with the Natural World - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-1 Section 1.1: What is Environmental Engineering? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-1 Section 1.2: The Work of Environmental Engineers - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-2 Unit 2: Environmental Engineering in Practice- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-4 Section 2.1: Measuring and Monitoring - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-4 Section 2.2: A Systems Approach - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-6 Section 2.3: The Future of Environmental Engineering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-11 Activity 1.1 The Big Breakdown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-13 Activity 2.1 Interpreting And Using Data On Electronic Waste - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-17 Exercise 2.2 Calculations Using Water Quality Standards- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-19 Activity 2.3 Testing Water Purity - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-21 Activity 2.4 The Great Water Hook-Up - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2-27 SOUND ENGINEERING: MAKING GREAT SOUNDS Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-1 Unit 1: Sound Miing, Demixing, and Spatial Audio- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-1 Section 1.1 Sound Mixing and Demixing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-1 Section 1.2 The Math Behind Demixing Sounds - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-3 Section 1.3: Designing a Two-Talker Speech Separation System - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-8 Section 1.4 Separating Speech Signals- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-9 Unit 2: Echo, Reverberation, and Sound Effects - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-11 Section 2.1: The Speed of Sound - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-11 Section 2.2: Measuring the Delay and Amplitude of an Echo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-13
  • 4. : ii Section 2.3 Recreating Echo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-16 Section 2.4 Reverberation - Repeating Echo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-17 Exercise 1.1 Adding, Subtracting, and Changing the Volumes of Microphone Signals - - - - - - - 3-19 Exercise 1.2 Using Two Microphones to Enhance Speech - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-21 Activity 1.3 Construction of Gosney Loudspeaker- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-23 Exercise 1.4 Using Two Microphones to Separate Speech - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-27 Exercise 2.1 Calculations Using the Speed of Sound - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-29 Exercise 2.2 Measuring the Delay and Amplitude of An Echo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3-31 ROBOTS FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-1 Unit 1: Mechanical Fundamentals of Robotics- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-1 Section 1.1: Using Leverage and Torque - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-1 Section 1.2: Motors - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-5 Section 1.3: Gear Ratios - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-8 Unit 2: Sensors: A Robot's Interface with the World - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-9 Section 2.1: Introduction to Computer Programming Concepts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-9 Section 2.2: Guided Tour of Lego Mindstorms Programming - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-13 Section 2.3: What Is a Sensor?- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-14 Section 2.4: How Does a Robot See? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-15 Section 2.5: Sensor Types - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-16 Unit 3: Robot Control- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-18 Unit 4: Artificial Intelligence - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-20 Activity 1.1: Using a Fulcrum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-23 Activity 1.2: Build a Robot Arm - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-25 Activity 1.3: Build a Simple Robot Car - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-27 Activity 1.4: Understanding Gears - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-29 Activity 2.1: Flowcharts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-31 Acitivity 2.2: Programming in Mindstorms- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-33 Activity 3.1: Robot Arm--Open-Loop Control - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-39 Activity 3.2 Robot Arm--Closed-Loop - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-41 Activity 4.1 Robot Car--Closed-Loop Control - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-43 Activity 4.2 Build a Robot That Plays 21 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4-45 ROCKETRY: ACHIEVING LIFTOFF - I Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-1 Unit 1: Getting Off the Ground - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-1 Section 1.1: Forces on a Rocket - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-1 Section 1.2: Newton's 1st and 2nd Laws - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-6 Activity 1.1: Weighing Objects - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-13 Activity 1.2: Using Formulas To Make Calculaltions- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-15 Activity 1.3: Mass, Force, and Acceleration - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-17
  • 5. : iii Exercise 1.4: Phases of Rocket Motion- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-19 Exercise 1.5: Accelerating Rockets- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-21 Activity 1.6: Testing Newton's 2nd Law With A Rocket Car - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5-23 ROCKETRY: ACHIEVING LIFTOFF - II Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-1 Unit 2: Where Rocket Engines Get Their Power - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-1 Section 2.1: Newton's 3rd Law - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-1 Section 2.2: Combustion and Chemical Rockets - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-9 Unit 3: Up, Up and Away: Rocket Trajectories - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-16 Section 3.1: Understanding Rocket Trajectories- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-16 Section 3.2: The Acceleration Phase - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-18 Section 3.3: The Descent Phase - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-21 Exercise 2.1: Conservation of Momentum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-25 Exercise 2.2: Rocket Thrust - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-27 Activity 2.3: Soda Can Engine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-29 Activity 2.4: Slingshot Car - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-33 Exercise 2.5: Rocket Engine Specifications- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-37 Activity 2.6: Chemical Rocket - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-39 Exercise 3.1 Velocity and Acceleration - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-43 Activity 3.2 Impulse and Propellant Relationshiop- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-45 Activity 3.3 Rocket Launch: Maximum Altitude - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-47 Activity 3.4 Rocket Launch: Maximum Altitude (Paper Version) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-51 Activity 3.5 Rocket Recovery- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6-53 GLOSSARY
  • 6. Engineering for Today’s Middle School Introduction to Engineering Design © 2008 | The Infinity Project | All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from The Infinity Project. 1-1 INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING DESIGN Introduction Think of all the things you have in your classroom: desks, computers, clocks, and calculators. Where did all of these things come from? Who built them? The answer to both questions is engineers. Engineers have existed for centuries in all cultures around the world. They are creative people who use their imaginations and knowledge of math and science to improve human lives. They have changed the way humans communicate and the way we travel. Their inventions have allowed us to search for life on Mars and save lives here on Earth. Imagine riding a horse to school instead of the bus, or walking five miles just to talk to a friend. Engineers developed cars and telephones to make these tasks easier. UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS SECTION 1.1: THE WORK OF ENGINEERS Engineers do not work alone to develop the products we use every day. Some businesspeople do research to identify the new products people want. Scientists and mathematicians perform research and collect data that engineers use to build prototypes, or samples of their designs. Artists often design advertisements to sell the finished products. There are many people involved in the engineering process, but we will focus on scientists and the engineers themselves. The Role of Scientists in Engineering Scientists try to understand and describe the world around us. Scientists have answered questions such as “What causes the flu?” and “How do clouds form?” To answer questions like these, scientists use the scientific method. The scientific method is a sequence of steps that a scientist can follow to discover why something happens in nature. The sequence of steps is shown below. 1. Make an observation about nature. 2. Develop a question or problem related to the observation, and a tentative answer, or hypothesis, to the question. 3. Perform an experiment to attempt to answer the question. 4. Collect data and analyze the results. 5. Draw conclusions. If the results support the original hypothesis, then it is confirmed as the answer to the question. If the results differ from the original hypothesis, then the
  • 7. Engineering for Today’s Middle School Introduction to Engineering Design © 2008 | The Infinity Project | All Rights Reserved 1-2 No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from The Infinity Project. answer to the question is different from what was expected. In many cases, this can lead to additional hypotheses and experiments to study variations on the original question. Figure 1.1: The Scientific Method The Role of Engineers Engineers design new products to solve some problem or to meet some human need. For example, in older cars airbags were placed only in the front of the car. Safety experts noticed that these airbags protected drivers when they were struck from the front or the rear. However, the airbags were not very effective when drivers were struck from the side. To solve this problem, engineers built new airbags into the sides of the car to provide more protection. Like scientists, engineers follow a series of steps to design products. The steps of the engineering design process are: 1. Identify a problem or need. 2. Identify design constraints. 3. Gather information necessary to design and build the product. 4. Develop several possible designs. 5. Analyze the solutions to determine which will work. Did You Know? Airbags are commonly filled with nitrogen gas. The gas enters the airbag with a speed of 200 mph (322 kph). It only takes about 0.05 seconds to fill the airbag. Constraints are requirements that limit how engineers design their products.
  • 8. Engineering for Today’s Middle School Introduction to Engineering Design © 2008 | The Infinity Project | All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from The Infinity Project. 1-3 6. Choose the best solution based on your analysis. 7. Build a prototype of the selected design. 8. Test the prototype and evaluate its design. 9. Repeat any or all steps as needed. Let’s look more closely at each step to find out what the process really involves. Step 1: Identify a problem or need It is hard to solve a problem without knowing what the problem is, so the first thing an engineer does is define the problem that needs to be solved. He or she may be given information about a potential problem that comes from business and consumer research—that is, businesspeople will find out if users have identified a problem with an existing product, or if people have expressed a wish for a new product, and share this information with engineers. From here, the engineer has to identify the exact problem or objective in order to develop a useful product. It is not always easy to identify the exact problem. For example, if an engineer is presented with an existing device that has a malfunction—such as a cell-phone battery that loses its charge quickly—the engineer must work to find out exactly what is causing the problem before he or she can determine how to fix it. Step 2: Identify design constraints The engineer must also develop a list of criteria, or constraints, that the design must meet in order to be useful. For instance, if an engineer plans to develop an inexpensive MP3 player, he or she will probably have to limit the number of functions the player can perform, because the extra time and materials required for extra functions would increase the cost of the player. It is also important to know that there is no right answer to an engineering design problem. The solution, in the form of the design developed in response to the problem, is variable and limited only by the design constraints and the creativity of the engineer. Step 3: Gather information necessary to design and build the product Before building or even dreaming up possible solutions, engineers have to do their research. They use every print and electronic resource available to make sure their problem is specific, but not limiting, and that it expresses a real need, and to find out if a solution has already been developed. Even if someone else has already worked on the problem, an engineer can learn from the mistakes of others or improve on the solution already developed. Research will also help engineers learn more about the science behind their problems, the materials they might use, and the costs that may be involved. Engineers take all this information with them into the brainstorming phase of the process, in which they develop as many potential solutions to the problem as they can.
  • 9. Engineering for Today’s Middle School Introduction to Engineering Design © 2008 | The Infinity Project | All Rights Reserved 1-4 No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from The Infinity Project. Step 4: Develop several possible designs In this step, an engineer uses his or her problem, constraints, research, and creativity to generate as many ideas as possible for the solution to the design problem. Analysis and testing of the ideas will come later—for now, the engineer can be inventive and take risks. He or she might bring together a group of engineers from his or her own branch of engineering or from other branches to expand the possibilities. The ideas are recorded for later analysis and testing. Step 5: Analyze the solutions to determine which will work Once the brainstorming phase has ended, the engineer will go back over the list of ideas, select a handful of the best ideas, and carefully evaluate them to figure out how they will work and whether they will be functional, safe, cost-effective, and valuable to consumers. Safety testing is generally important for any product or design. If a product injures a consumer, the consumer may hold responsible the producer and designer of the product. Any design will be considered for safety and either modified or thrown out if it is not safe. It is also important to consider how the product will work, or if it will work, when it is built. If a design for a heavy-duty plastic is made of materials that shatter easily, the plastic will not likely work as it should, and so the design would be thrown out. A design may also be evaluated for comfort of use, strength, conformity to product requirements set by the government, and ease of construction. Some factors are more important than others, depending on the design problem and proposed solution. The importance of each factor is determined by the engineers developing a particular design or product. Step 6: Choose the best solution based on your analysis After studying the analyses of each of the possible designs, the engineer will consider all data gathered and use the data to choose the final design. The design will still have to be built and tested, but the engineer makes a preliminary choice about how the product will look based on the performance, safety, cost, and sales factors determined by the analysis. Step 7: Build a prototype of the selected design At this stage, engineers will build a model of the chosen design, called a prototype. If the prototype is successfully assembled, it will proceed to Step 8, where it will be put through tests that simulate the exact use of the product when it is sold to the public. Step 8: Test the prototype and evaluate its design Now that the engineer has built a prototype of his or her design, it is time to test that design and see how well it stands up to real-world conditions. A newly designed car, for example, will be tested against real road conditions to ensure that it performs well, and crashed in simulated
  • 10. Engineering for Today’s Middle School Introduction to Engineering Design © 2008 | The Infinity Project | All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from The Infinity Project. 1-5 traffic accidents to assess damage to the car and its human occupants. The test stage is where engineers work out any problems in the design before it is produced and sold. Step 9: Repeat any or all steps as needed Rarely does a design solution go straight through the engineering design process into the market. Design solutions may be revisited one or many times before the engineer is satisfied. Prototypes may be refined and redeveloped many times over before they are ready to be produced and sold. Engineers may go back to any part of the process to refine their designs or start again to make sure that the final product is as good as it can be. THE WORK OF ENGINEERS EXERCISE 1.1 In Exercise 1.1, you will follow a scenario to understand how the engineering design process works on a specific project. WHEELCHAIR RAMP SAFETY ACTIVITY 1.2 “Safety first” is a good motto, especially for engineers. In Activity 1.2, you will design an experiment to identify the safest way to build a wheelchair ramp at school. Figure 1.2: The Engineering Design Process

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