Our engineering education continued today with a visit from Dr Kevin, who is a civil engineer! He has worked on engineering projects around the world and also lectured in NUIG. He taught us about bridges today, and left us with a few engineering challenges to complete after St. Patrick's Day!
First of all, he taught us a little bit of the meaning of the word 'engineer' and Latin words it comes from. Then he explained that while Civil Engineers work with all sorts of structures, he was going to talk to us about bridges. We learned that until the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, most bridge were simple and fairly small. As humans developed better technology, bridges and engineering got better, safer and more impressive!
While we listened, we kept sketches of some of the different types of bridges. We looked at simple arch bridges and beam bridges, to very impressive Roman aqueducts that still exist today! We saw how maths, science, engineering and technology improved bridge building to include truss bridges, suspension bridges, cable stayed bridges and cantilever bridges.
We then used some simple experiments to see how beam bridges and cantilever bridges work.
After that, we watched some fascinating videos of how important it is to have good engineering for bridges. One was the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington state, USA. This bridge collapsed in an ordinary wind speed because it had started vibrating and twisting unusually. The second video was more recent - the Millennium pedestrian bridge in London, England. This bridge had very wide and low suspension, and it started to vibrate as soon as crowds of people walked across it. It had to be closed and re-engineered with 'dampers' to reduce the vibration.
We got a surprise when one of the next slides had a picture of our teacher when she was our age at the top of a new suspension bridge! (She's obviously been planning this lesson for a while...)
At the end of the lesson, Dr Kevin gave us a little preview of the challenges he has left us: marshmallows! Sounds SWEET!
We were delighted to have a visitor today who is an engineer! Gabriel showed us how many different types of engineering affect our daily lives, from our kettles, cars and cameras, to the glasses we wear to see better! He explained to us that he is an Automation Engineer, which means he writes the software that controls real life ROBOTS! We saw a video of the robots in action with engineers working alongside them. We were curious as to where the robots came from, and Gabriel told us that ANOTHER robot made them! This reminded us of the chicken and egg riddle (which we still haven't solved) but at least we discovered today that a human has to make the first robot, and then all the others can be made after that!
We were excited to work with some electrical circuits next, which were more complicated than the ones we had looked at earlier this year. We followed a schematic to connect the wires to the correct fuses, switches, detectors and lights, and when we were finished, Gabriel helped us check over our work.
Next, we put on some safety glasses, and our machines were connected to the power source. We all built metal detector machines, and once the circuit was completed by flipping the switch 'on', we could hold a piece of metal to the detector and the light would go on (or off, depending on which machine we had built). If we held another material beside the detector, such as plastic, there was no change in the light. It was AMAZING! We realised we were real engineers!
Before Gabriel left, he gave us all a bookmark with our names on them, and our very own robot keyrings for our pencilcases! Thank you Gabriel!!!
Today was World Book Day 2019! We all have our coupons ready to shop with, and we also drew our favourite characters from our favourite books (or at least one of them! It was hard to choose!) We also visited our friends in the preschool and had a great time reading with them. Their books are so interesting, and they even brought us some delicious biscuits as a treat!
We were reading about King Tutankhamun recently, and trying to figure out how archaeologists were able to translate Ancient Egypt's hieroglyphics. We learned about the Rosetta Stone, which was a carving in three different languages, including Ancient Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics, which helped translators figure out what each language meant. We talked about places that use different types of writing to what we use in Ireland. We knew Russia uses letters that look like ours, but are slightly different, while Arabic is very different to our alphabet and is even written in a different direction! We were lucky to have someone in our class with some books in Arabic at home, and she read some lines for us, and demonstrated how to write the word 'school' on the board!
This Engineers Week, we were looking at hydropower in Ireland and across the world. We looked at the construction of the Hoover Dam in the USA and learned about the hydropower stations in Ireland that provide 20% of the country's power. We then looked at other ways water power is used: in hydraulics. A lot of us have seen the fascinating videos on YouTube where a man crushes things with a hydraulic press. We discovered why it is so powerful when we made a mini-hydraulic machine ourselves. Water cannot be compressed, so it pushes things out of the way instead. We got a little bit splashed, but it was good fun making the syringes pop out!
We measured our syringes in millilitres. With this measurement, we recorded 60ml of water in one syringe, which was able to send 5ml into the smaller syringe at the end of the tube. Water does not compress, so we had to stop once we filled the smaller syringe or the pressure would force it out of the tube!
Using this knowledge, we also measured pneumatic force. We filled the syringes with 90ml of air, and covered the end with our fingers. We were able to compress the air to a variety of measurements - 24ml, 20ml, and our smallest compression, 15ml! We also noticed a little bit of steam coming out of the top when we released the compressed air. We think this is because the compressed air raises in temperature a little, and when it is released, it cools and condenses into steam. It's so interesting!
4th, 5th and 6th in the prefab!
|Headford Girls NS||
Ms McNamara's Class