Safety First

February 19, 2010 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

The Winter Olympics have been filled with exciting moments, but when athletes are competing for Gold their risk of injury is higher and their protect gear becomes extremely important.

Here is another video by NBC and the National Science Foundation about science and engineering in the Olympic Winter Games.

Link to Video

As athletes push themselves to their limits and sometimes crash or collide, they rely on protective gear to keep them safe. NSF-funded scientists Katharine Flores, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Ohio State University, and Melissa Hines, the director of the Cornell University Center for Materials Research, explain the physics of a collision and exactly how this gear, especially safety helmets, works to prevent injury.

Here is an activity to use the Design Process you learned earlier this week.

Keeping Your Head “Egg” Safe

Materials:
Half-gallon milk carton/box
Fresh Eggs
Packing or Soft Materials (bubble wrap, paper towels, etc.)

Objective:
Create a shell/helmet to protect the egg from breaking if dropped
Understand the importance of protecting our heads/brains during activities

Instructions:
1. Show the materials
2. Explain the objective “protect the egg”
3. Let the creative juices flow
4. Test your design*
5. Observe results
6. Discuss solutions for change
7. Redesign
8. Try again!

*Test design OUTSIDE. Stand on chair or ladder to drop carton.

Talking Points
What material worked best to protect the egg? Why do you think one material worked better than another? Can you think of other materials that would work better? How do you think the protective material absorbs energy? Why is it important for us to protect our heads?

Thank you for a great Engineering Week!!!

~Katelyn

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