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Nelson Education > School > Elementary Science > Science & Technology 7 > Student Centre > Web Links > Unit 3

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  Getting Started 
  3.1  The Life Cycle of a Product  
  3.2  Product Testing 
  3.3  Planning to Fly
  3.4  Stability 
  3.5  Stabilizing the Tower of Piza 
  3.6  Building Sets for Television 
  3.7  Planned Obsolescence
  3.8  Forces and Structures
  3.9  Applying Forces
  3.10  Loads 
  3.11 Determining Factor of Safety
  3.12  Tension, Compression, Torsion, and Shear
  3.14  Finding Stability in Symmetry 
  3.15  A Stronger Beam 
  3.16  A Stronger Structure
  3.17  Strengthening Structures
  3.18  Getting Under Foot
  3.19  Fasteners and Function
  3.20  Designing a Childproof Container  
  3.21  Making Bridges
  3.22  Bridging the Gap


Section Links
The Life Cycle of a Product
Design and Technology Online.  This site uses text, pictures and animations to provide useful information on various topics such as packaging, electronics, food, pneumatics and mechanisms.

Properties of Materials Database.  Data on over 30,000 plastics, metals, composites, ceramics, rubbers and adhesives from over 300 manufacturers product catalogs.

Product testing to destruction.  A must read news story.

Free Life Cycle Assessment on the Internet.

Centre for Alternative Technology.  The Centre is concerned with globally sustainable, ecologically sound technologies. The site demonstrates and explains a wide range of alternatives.

Product Testing

IIHS Vehicle Ratings.  About vehicle testing at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Crashworthiness refers to how well a vehicle protects people in a crash. The Institute has evaluated aspects of the crashworthiness of more than 100 vehicle makes and models. Check out your car for safety.


Planning to Fly
Zenith Aircraft.  Provides detailed information and resources on sport (experimental) aviation and their line of homebuilt kit planes.

Aerocomp Inc.  Manufacturer of kit planes and seaplane floats.

Kitplanes.  For Homebuilt Aircraft Enthusiasts.

Some  airplane companies:


Boeing - Corporate Homepage

The Life Cycle of a Product
Exceeding Center of Gravity: Tower of Lire.  Try this! Centre of Gravity in Football.  A really good lesson plan about centre of gravity and sports. Questions at the end.

How to balance a long thin object.  This is a fun activity and easy, too!

Balance Of Forces Acting on an Airplane.  A good explanation of equilibrium, but quite advanced. Has a self-test at the end.

Center of Gravity of an Airplane.  Another good but technical explanation of forces acting on an airplane. Good diagram.


Stabilizing the Tower of Piza
Urban Icons - Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Extensive site on famous Italian landmark, with news, information, history, links, image gallery, and proposals for remedial engineering.

Science Italian Style: Fixing the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  A PBS site. The tower is the site of what may have been the first true scientific experiment, conducted by Galileo Galilei in the 16th century and repeated here by Frontiers host Alan Alda. Curriculum links and an activity.

Galileo's Free Fall.  Try Galileo's Experiment yourself.

Building Sets for Television
The Society of Operating Cameramen: Props, Set Decoration and Construction Book.  Lots of book descriptions about all the aspects of moviemaking and film production.

Set Construction, Scenery and Design for Television & Entertainment Industry.  This company fabricates scenery, effects, signage,and graphics for movies, stage, television commercials and exhibits.

Innovation Arts.  In Lenox, MA, a full service physical effects production facility, whose site has plenty of illustrated info on the team and their work.

Overkill Productions.  Company specializing in set construction and design for film and television, with details and pictures of their work.


Planned Obsolescence
an exercise in planned obsolescence.  Poetry!

Planned Obsolescence: Halo Benders.  Read the lyrics to this song.

Planned Obsolescence.  Do you know if it's true that CDs, music CDs in particular, have a planned obsolecence of twenty-five years or so?

Forces and Structures

Ground Reaction Force.  The ground reaction force is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force that the body exerts on the supporting surface through the foot. Nike uses this concept for designing shoes.


Applying Force
The Heritage Canada Foundation - News - Media Review.  A Canadian site that lists buildings that might come under the wrecking ball.

500 Castle Links.  Investigate castles all over the world. - Castle Attack & Defense. Absolutely everything you want to know about attacking a castle. Good pictures.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster.  Learn about the failure of the Bridge of Tacoma Narrows in May of 1940. Check out photographs, and download mpeg video clips.
Determining Factor of Safety
Bad Human Factors Designs.  A scrapbook of illustrated examples of things that are hard to use because they do not follow human factors (also known as ergonomics) principles. The site examines why objects are poorly designed and suggests solutions.

Physics of Stopping.  Safety on our roads has been an important issue in our society. Engineers have been altering car designs to give us maximum safety in car accidents. An essay on car design and safety.

Factors of Safety - Composite Materials.  A very informative article written by an engineer working with space vehicles.


Tension, Compression, Torsion, and Shear
3M Company's Command Adhesive.  Check out this new kind of adhesive for wall hooks. Shear forces are very important to this product's usefulness.
Finding Stability in Symmetry
Petronas Twin Towers.  Part of a $1.2 billion Kuala Lumpur City Centre redevelopment project that is transforming the skyline of the once quiet capital city of Malaysia, are the world's tallest office buildings.
A Stronger Beam

Paper Beam.  The challenge: build a weight-bearing structure out of two pieces of paper board and four ounces of glue. The most it can weigh is 464 grams, just a little over a pound. How much weight can it hold?


Strengthening Structures
Bridge Truss Designs.  A page full of diagrams showing all of the types of trusses you can use to build a bridge.

Domed Stadium.  Explores the physics and engineering necessary to keep a domed stadium from collapsing.

Under Foot
Action Floor Systems.  Company specializes in floors for athletic and home use. Order a catalog, download specifications, scan the floor usage chart, or see past work.

Trus Joist Products.  Amazing floor design site discusses Adhesives, Duration of Load, Floor Performance, Lateral Design, Moisture Effects, Web Stiffeners and much more.


Fasteners and Function
Zippers & Velcro.  Provides an informative history of the zipper and includes photographs of zipper innovators. Link to other zipper and fastener pages.
Designing a Childproof Container
Child-Resistant Closures.  This is a document that gives lots of information on the present state of child-resistant containers. A bit technical but a good background before beginning the Investigation.

YES Technologies.  A child-resistant package design with an opening mechanism which relies on cognitive skills rather than strength. Commercial site.


Making Bridges
Bridge Types.  This site explores five different types of bridges and their common uses. This provides a basic introduction to bridge engineering and the considerations that come into play when drawing up models.

NOVA Online: Super Bridge.  Designed to accompany a NOVA television episode, this site explores the design and building of bridges. Learn about four types of bridges and then test your knowledge by playing a game.

Bridge-watching for Beginners.  This site provides an in-depth investigation of bridges. If you want to learn about bridge terminology and the engineering and mathematics involved in bridge building, this hypertext document is the place.

Bridges Project.  Visit this database of significant bridges, searchable by year, location and type. View images, facts, length and construction details.