A Fine Balance: Building a Hanging Sculpture

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This resource provides a cross-curricular design and technology project aimed at primary children. Linking to work on the forces and balance children build and test sculptures in small groups. They also discover more about the work of mechanical engineers throughout the lessons. The first lesson introduces the task with an introductory story, in which an artist asks an engineer to help in the construction of a hanging structure for a school assembly hall. Children investigate the properties of a hanging sculpture and are confronted with the challenge of how to construct a balanced sculpture with multiple tiers. In a second lesson they explore the properties of forces, balance, centre of gravity and counterbalance. In lesson three they apply their knowledge of forces to design and build a balanced hanging sculpture. The main focus of the final lesson is on evaluating the development and construction of the balanced hanging sculptures and suggesting improvements to the products and processes involved. 

This resource was produced by The European project ENGINEER, under the funding of the 7th framework programme, as part of ENGINEER project, contract № 288989. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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