Nov 12, 2015
We want to be able to talk to the kids about the differences between science and engineering while providing some tangible experience with real life data collection and analysis methods.
I was thinking about doing something along these lines:
1) Introduce ourselves and talk about how engineers build equipment that scientists use to ask and answer questions.
2) The undergrads (Matt and Heather) would give a brief overview of how they built the system
3) Have the entire class jump on the plate and then compare the results from the plate to measurements from the jumping and touching the board with chalk
4) “Validate” the system by comparing between the jump and reach data vs the force plate data.
5) Come up with a question as a class to answer using the scientific method, the force plate and 2-d kinematic equations.
6) For example: Battle of the sexes: Can girls or boys jump higher?
- Create a testable hypothesis: Girls will jump on average higher than boys
- Have all the boys and all the girls measure their jump height on the plate
- Compare the results by taking the average of each group
- Talk about how we can use other representations of data to learn more about the system (introduce the concept of box plots and standard deviation)
- Discuss other variables that could be important to understand results (student weight, age, height)
- Discuss the differences between scientists and engineers and what they like better.
At the end of the day, the kids should have an understanding of the difference between a scientist and an engineer and also have an engaging introduction to real world data collection using a piece of equipment that they could make.
Matt and Heather’s Force Plate System!