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Class: Foundations of Technology

II. Teachers Name: Ryan Sackett
III. Grade Level: 9-12
IV. Lesson Title: Boom Buster
V. Lesson Length: 35 minutes/Five different class periods
VI. Behavioral Objectives:
At the conclusion of a demonstration, the student will:
Be able to accurately define tension and compressive forces with 85% efficiency.
Be able to explain the design loop and how it is used in the known world.
Be able to use the design loop as a scientific process to create, test and evaluate their
own designs with 90% efficiency.
VII. Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Objectives Addressed
- Demonstrate how inventions and innovations are the results of specific, goal-oriented research.
- Identify and explain the design problem to solve and decide whether or not to address it.
VIII. Content Outline
1. In this lesson, students will learn the basics how tension and compression effect civil
engineering and construction practices
2. They will be given a design problem to construct a boom to carry as much weight as possible
while being the most efficient(strength/weight ratio)
3. Once they have the problem, they will be taught the design loop and how to use it.
4. They will be broken up into groups of two or three.
5. They will go on the computers and research bridge and boom construction and design
6. They will make an initial design with their group on paper.
7. They will then use the program ModelSmart to construct an electronic version of their boom
and test it structurally.
8. They will make revisions based on their testing and chronicle their results on a data sheet.
9. They will then go into the lab and be given a certain amount of materials to construct a
model of their boom design.
10. Once complete, their design will be tested against the other groups in a competition where
the strength/weight ration determines the winner.
IX. Procedure
I. Discuss the difference between tension and
*Refer to where they
describe an arch bridge
II. Discuss the design problem
-Students will have to build a boom that is
attached to a 4X4X4 piece of pine and extends
no less than 14 from center. At the center of
the piece of pine there will be a whole approx.
3/8 in diameter. This boom will have to
support on the end opposite the piece of pine a
piece of 3X2X1/4 MDF. This piece will support
the weight to be added to the boom. The
students will be given 30 popsicle sticks, wood
glue, and clamps to construct their design.
The students will have one day of research, one
day of design, and three days of construction.

tension- the longitudinal deformation of an

elastic body that results in its elongation
compression- A force that tends to shorten
or squeeze something, decreasing its
torque- the moment of a force or system
of forces tending to cause rotation
Refer to Introduction to Technology
textbook, pg. 480-481

On the sixth day, the booms will be tested.

III. Design Loop- students will be introduced to
the design loop and what it is used for.
a. Establish the problem
b. Gather Information
c. Generate a solution and alternate solutions
d. Choose best solution
e. Develop Work
f. Prototyping
g. Testing and Evaluation
h. Redesign/Reimplementation
IV. Research-after the design brief, students will continue
research on the design and construction of
bridges and booms, learning about different
types of each
-using the internet in the computer lab,
students will complete a worksheet on the
history of bridges
IV. Design
-partners will get together and create a few
designs to be tested with the ModelSmart
program using the research they have done on
past designs
-the group will then use the program to test
their various designs to establish which one will
be the most efficient
-a mini competition will be held to see whose
design holds the most weight theoretically
V. Develop Work
- the group will then decide how to best adapt
their design to work with the materials they
have been provided
VI. Prototyping
-this is where the students will begin
-Students will be given a Boom Grade sheet
-Materials: the production lab, 30 popsicle
sticks, one piece of 4X4X4 pine, wood glue,
rulers, one 3X2X1/4 MDF
VII. Testing
-Groups will then compete to see whose boom
is the most efficient by adding weight to a sling
attached to one end of the boom
-the other end will be held in place by a pole
that runs through a hole drilled in the middle of
the 4X4X4 piece of pine
VIII. Review
-talk to students about the concepts that they
have put into practice through their designs
-review definitions of tension, compression,

Appendix A

torque, and lateral force

X. Evaluation:
Students will turn in a printout of their bridge design. This will be graded for 25 pts. During
design and construction, students will be evaluated during the class on a continuous basis. This will
allow for on-the-spot corrections so that they do not stray off course. Upon completion of their
prototypes, students will be evaluated on the specifications that their boom was supposed to meet.
Their booms will then be tested using the boom testing devise to see whose holds the most weight.
Students will fill out the boom grade sheet during their design and construction process. This page
will also serve as the data recording page for their test results.
XI. Instructional Aids or Resources:
Appendix A- Boom Grade Sheet
Introduction to Technology textbook, pg. 480-481
Computer Lab
Model Smart program
Boom building materials
o Popsicle sticks
o Pine blocks
o MDF sheets
XII. Safety Instruction

Follow all school rules and regulations as well as classroom contract designated rules
and regulations. Do not horseplay with other students or disrupt other students who are
working. Always listen to the teacher for directions and instruction.

Boom Engineer #1

Boom Engineer #2

Boom Construction Grade Sheet

Total 100 Pts.
1. (10 Pts) Written Analysis (Before construction)
Describe your design and state how will construct your boom to hold the most weight.
(Hint: Think of where your boom might break)

2. (20 Pts) Prototype Sketching
Sketch the side view of what you want your boom to look like. Think about which members are under tension
and under compression and label each accordingly with a T-tension, or C-compression. Label where you think
your boom will break. **Remember, you dont have to use all your pieces, its a strength to weight ratio
contest.** Use the back of the page if necessary.

3. (30 Pts) Construction

How well is your boom constructed? Are your glue joints clean? Is your boom symmetrical on both sides? Does
your boom meet the specifications? Did your boom look like your sketch?

4. (30 Pts) Demolition Test Grade

A. Weight of Boom in grams
B. Weight held in # of books
C. Convert books to lbs.
D. Convert lbs. to grams
E. Efficiency Ratio: Weight Held (gr.)/ Weight of Boom (gr.)

_________ (1 Book=2.2 lbs.)
_________ (1 lb=453 grams)

5. (10 Pts) Written Analysis (After Construction)

In your opinion, which part broke first? Is that where you thought it would break? Why did it break there, and
what could you have done in order to prevent structural failure at that point?