Structure WebQuest - Design Engineer Questions

[Introduction] [Task] [Process] [Resources] [Evaluation] [Conclusion]

1. Animals and insects build structures for many reasons. A wonderful example of good engineering is that done by a honeybee. Draw an illustration of their structures and discuss the geometry that you see in its design. Why is this a good example worth investigating? What properties does it have that influence its strength?

2. Find other objects in nature to investigate. What did you find out about the strength of the design(s)?

3. When items are packed and/or shipped, they are often sent in cardboard boxes. What are the characteristics of corrugated cardboard that make it stronger than paperboard (like that in cereal boxes)? Is this corrugated cardboard stronger in some situations than in others? How does tension and compression affect it?

4. Find other objects in packing materials to investigate. What did you find out about the strength of the design(s)?

5. What 3-dimensional shapes did you explore and which ones seemed to be the strongest under tension? under compression?

6. What other questions do you want to find answers to while working on this project?

7. After working with the journalist in your group, get a copy of the interview questions and the names of two people to interview. You will need to complete an interview worksheet for each of the two interviews that you do and attach them to your research notes to turn in with your report.

Internet Sites to visit to find these answers

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This project was created by Nancy Powell for Geometry Classes at Bloomington High School, Bloomington, IL. I welcome your comments and questions.