Engineering Lesson

A representative of the University of  Arkansas' Engineering program visited with the 9th grade AP Science class.  He spoke with the students about the various engineering programs that the university had to offer.  He explained each area to give the students more information.  Not only were the students given a detailed presentation to help them plan for their future, but they were also presented a challenge.  Each group was provided one sheet of news paper to create a three ring chain. This task had many limits.  The chain had to be completed in 15 minutes and students could not use any outside objects to hold the links together. Their only elements were their brains and the newspaper.   The students had to be quick in their strategy and implementation of the chain. When the timer went off the students gathered to test the strength of their chains.  The chains were attached to a bucket that was filled with water bottles.  The goal was for the chain to hold the most water bottles without breaking.  A few chains could not withstand more than a bottle however, several chains could hold 10 bottles without breaking.  The classroom was filled with excitement as water bottles were added and chains were withstanding the weight.  This lesson created a buzz even to the students who did not reach the maximum weight.