ERIC Number: ED439967
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
Construct-a-Catapult. Science by Design Series.
This book is one of four books in the Science-by-Design Series crated by TERC and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It integrates history, physics, mathematics, and technology in its challenge to high school students to design and build a working catapult system. Students investigate elasticity, projectile launching, and learn about frequency distribution while working through the process of product design. The activities have assessment suggestions and Internet extensions through the National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) sciLINKS program and are designed to meet the new International Technology Education Standards as well as the National Science Education Standards. Key ideas include: (1) "Elasticity"--Hooke's Law states that the elastic property of matter is quantifiable for specific materials. Students measure the force/stretch relationships of common rubber bands as the basis for a reasonably accurate projectile delivery system; (2) "Energy"--the conversion of elastic potential energy into kinetic energy is used to determine range; (3) "Force"--force is studied and measured in the context of Hooke's Law and principles of gravity; (4) "Calibration"--students calibrate and document procedures for their prototype in order to meet performance specifications; (5) "Inquiry"--the design process involves students in inquiry, generating solutions, development, testing, and evaluation; and (6) "Design"--readings on the history of ancient catapults circa 400 B.C.E give students a context for the background of a catapult's technological design. Appendices contain inquiry and design processes, text reconstruction, and identifying variables. (Contains 27 references.) (CCM)
Descriptors: Construction (Process), Design, High Schools, Mechanics (Physics), Problem Solving, Research Methodology, Resource Materials, Science Activities, Teaching Methods, Technology
NSTA Press, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Books; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: National Science Teachers Association, Arlington, VA.; TERC, Cambridge, MA.
Note: For other books in the Science by Design Series, see SE 063 488-490.