How did somebody come up with the idea for bridges, skyscrapers, helicopters, and nightlights? How did people figure out how to build them?
In 3D Engineering: Design and Build Your Own Prototypes, young readers tackle real-life engineering problems by figuring out real-life solutions. Kids apply science and math skills to create prototypes for bridges, instruments, alarms, and more. Prototypes are preliminary models used by engineers--and kids--to evaluate ideas and to better understand how things work.
Engineering design starts with an idea. How do we get to the other side of the river? How do we travel long distances in short periods of time? Using a structured engineering design process, kids learn how to brainstorm, build a prototype, test a prototype, evaluate, and re-design. Projects include designing a cardboard chair to understand the stiffness of structural systems and designing and building a set of pan pipes to experiment with pitch and volume.
Creating prototypes is a key step in the engineering design process and prototyping early in the design process generally results in better processes and products. 3D Engineering gives kids a chance to figure out many different prototypes, empowering them to discover the mechanics of the world we know.
Grades 4-7. Engineers design solutions for common or sophisticated needs, and here kids are challenged to consider, brainstorm, experiment, and create prototypes for 25 projects, from a pencil holder to a cardboard chair to a mini-robot. Each of the first seven chapters examines a specific topic and then asks readers to create one to three corresponding projects. For example, the chapter on spinning discusses rotation, friction, and gears. Readers are then challenged to create a race car, a spinning top, and a twirling optical illusion. Instructions for each project include five steps with highlighted vocabulary and informational text boxes. Most projects lean toward collaboration and experimentation. While the introduction offers safety tips for X-Acto knives and hot glue guns, none of the experiments remind kids to refer to this information, and adult supervision alerts are generally lacking. Colored text boxes and illustrations help break up the text, and several experiments have QR codes for expanded online content. Part of the Build It Yourself series, this book will prove useful to middle-school science teachers.