Experiment VI: MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
To introduce girls to two concepts used in engineering, namely design and manufacturing.
20 pairs of safety glasses
12 screw drivers
6 pieces of wood
paper and pencils
- Talk to the girls about design. Someone has an idea. I have todesign it, i.e. make something that will work. I want to transform the idea to a final product. Design Considerations: reliable, cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, form follows function, ergonomic. Design problems always ask the same question: I need item x for doing y. How am I going to make x?
- In this case, describe how a drill works. Normally, the engineer doesn't have the final product in her hands, but tell about the design.
- Drill holes in wood. Have the girls decide what is inside the drill and have them explain their ideas to others.
- Open the drill. Examine each part, compare what you see with what you thought you would see.
- As the girls are looking at the drills, explain what is inside and why. Have them draw a picture of the inside of the drill. Explain that engineering is about coming up with new or better designs. This product has a continuation evolution and is mature but if someone can come up with a better design, then that's great. Other products are less mature like automated cars, etc.
- Have the girls reassemble their drills.
- Discuss Manufacturing considerations:
Material - why use that?
How to make parts?
Assembly - cheapest, best reliability.
- Have the girls look at their drawings of the inside of the drill.Give a general explanation of how the motor works.
- Give a brief explanation of other designs:
Pictures of SR71 blackbird
Smart buildings (i.e. buildings with sensors in them that detect failure and alert others)
Automated integrated circuit production line
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