Virtual Engineering Challenge!
This challenge has 3 activities that can be completed individually at home and have been tailored so that it can be individually completed by each Guide. Family members are of course welcome to join in and participate in the design experience, as engineering is all about working together to solve problems. We will be reviewing and sharing how the activities went during our April 1st meeting. If all of the activities cannot be completed by then, they can be done and shared in the future to still earn the badge!
Activity 1: Design an Engineering Patch
Did you know that engineers love badges, just like Girl Guides? Engineers, especially ones that work for Canadian Space Agency (CSA), NASA and other big organizations, will often create a badge or patch to celebrate some of the interesting projects they’ve worked on. In this activity, you’ll create your own patch to show some of the things you have in common with engineers!
1. Take moment to think about some of the things you like to do or things that interest you.
2. Look at each of the cards in the attached file “Interests in Engineering Cards” and see which ones interest you.
· If you don’t see something that matches your interests perfectly, you can pick a card that shows something you might want to explore or that’s new to you.
· You can choose more than one type of engineering if you can’t decide!
3. Gather your drawing supplies to get your patch design started!
· When you’re designing, think about the different ways your interests could inspire an engineer who is creating something. You can use the examples on the cards to help you.
· Looking for real examples of patches celebrating engineering? Check out the CSA’s mission designs at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/default.asp and some of NASA’s designs at https://wapo.st/2Nphuro.
Activity 2: Mini-Midway Maker
Have you ever tested your strength on a fair game with a giant hammer? Ever won a giant teddy bear by knocking over some bottles with a ball? Fair and carnival games like ring toss, spin-to-win, plinko, and skee-ball might seem simple, but it takes some clever engineering to make them not too hard and not too easy! These games use the physics of motion and test your hand-eye coordination, which makes them challenging and a little unpredictable.
Engineers use their understanding of science, technology and math to create interesting and innovative inventions. The games you find along the midway of a fair or carnival might not have been designed by engineers, but they were definitely created using the engineering design process!
In this activity, you’ll experiment with playfulness and create a miniature version of a popular midway game by taking the same steps engineers take. First, they ask questions to help them understand the problem. Then, they imagine different ways to solve the problem. Using one of the ideas they’ve brainstormed, they’ll plan a design. Then, they’ll create a prototype, or model, of their design. They’ll improve their design by testing out their model and finding ways to make it even better. Finally, when they’re all finished, engineers share their designs and what they’ve learned.
What you'll need
· Engineering Design Process Guide (attached file)
For Part 1:
· Pencil and paper
· Midway Inspiration Images (attached file)
For Part 2:
· Different recyclable or reusable materials for building e.g. cardboard, cardstock, foam board, paper cups, empty fruit cups, toilet paper tubes, pushpins, toothpicks, straws, elastics, string, modelling clay, paper clips, etc.
· Glue or tape
· Objects to throw, toss or drop e.g. coins, marbles, Ping-Pong balls, etc. (2 – 5 )
What to do
1. Choose a midway game to build. It can be one from the Midway Inspiration Images resource or another one you’ve played before.
2. Start the planning process and ask questions to help define the problem. You can make a list of your questions or just think about them. Some questions you might ask could be:
· How does the game work? What are the rules?
· How is a game like this built or designed?
· How big does it need to be if it’s going on a “miniature” midway?
3. Imagine possible designs for your game.
You can draw out some sketches, add them as answers to your list or just think about them.
4. Decide on the design you’re going to use for your game. Start to plan out your design. First, take a few minutes to think about it on your own. Then draw a sketch of your idea. Here are a few things you can consider:
· How big will your game be?
· Are you going to use a design that already exists and improve it, or change it altogether?
· What materials could you build with?
5. Before you start construction, you can share your designs with your family or a friend online and get their feedback and suggestions.
6. Gather the materials you need and create your game prototype.
·A prototype is a sample or model based on a plan. Engineers create prototypes as an early draft of a design to test it out.
7. Test your prototype by playing your game! You might need to improve it after a couple of rounds to make it easier (or harder) to play.
8. Come to the virtual meeting on Wednesday and share your experiences with the games and talk about what it was like to build them.
It’s okay if your design doesn’t work the first time. An engineer wouldn’t see that as a “fail”, they’d see it as a “First Attempt In Learning.” When you improve your design, ask yourself what you’ve learned from your test. You might be able to just tweak a part of your design or maybe you’ll need to go back to the beginning of the process. Either way, you’ll have learned a lot!
Activity 3: Questions to Ask an Engineer
Just like how we asked a scientist questions earlier in the guiding year, you will have the opportunity to ask an engineer questions during our virtual meeting on April 1st. Take some time to come up with 3 to 5 questions you would like to ask an engineer!