How do you launch a submarine with strong structures?

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Lesson overview

Part one of this two-part lesson develops students understanding of strong structures and investigates how cranes work. Students work together to design and construct a crane using a variety of materials. They will adapt and evaluate their structure as they go along and make improvements where necessary. They will also construct a model submersible to launch and recover once their crane is complete.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe how machines help people
  • Describe and apply the features of a stable structure
  • Construct a working model of a crane
  • Reflect on learning and plan next steps

Lesson steps

  1. Launching a submarine (10 mins)
    Students consider how submarines are launched from the surface vessel and watch a 360 video of a launch.
  2. Strong structures (10 mins)
    Students examine the features of strong structures and how this relates to building a crane.
  3. Plan and build (30 mins)
    In pairs students plan and build a crane structure that will be capable of launching and recovering a model submarine.
  4. Evaluate and improve (10mins)
    Students evaluate and improve their build and begin planning the next element of their machine.
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