Nothing is quite as fascinating in high school than watching or participating in science experiments. At least, as a high school science teacher, you believe that. Always looking for new ways to engage your students, you should teach force and mass via mechanical testing. You will need some common objects and mechanical testing tools to get started. Then you can do the following.
The Tensile Strength of Materials
Find a big rubber band, a piece of woven cloth (preferably cotton or polyester rayon, although spandex might be fun too), a piece of wood, and a mixture of cornstarch and water or silly putty. Set up a machine that is capable of pulling objects apart while measuring the force required to do so. This will give you some of the factors needed to calculate the tensile strength of each of the materials you have collected. Challenge your students to figure out which materials can last the longest before they snap apart. Everyone may be quite surprised by the experiment.
Fatigue testing is another type of testing done in industrial settings to see how much force objects can take before they cannot take any more. It is similar to tensile strength, except that in this type of test, the objects should all be solid, and force should be applied by a hammer, vice, or some other means of blunt and continued force.
Choose objects made of various metals and/or rock, as these will produce the most interesting results. You could also choose hard plastics and polymers because they demonstrate real-life objects used in fatigue testing. You can time the objects and measure the force used to see how much pressure these objects will take before breaking. Some objects may not break under pressure at all during class time, so you may have to continue the experiment over several days.
Another, similar experiment that is part of industrial mechanical testing is torque testing. Your students might have a lot of fun with this one as they will have to twist objects under extreme force until they break. While you cannot show torque testing on a human body, you can supply the necessary facts for the amount of twisting force it takes to break a bone or tear a rotator cuff. This shows that mechanical testing has more than just industrial applications, and that your students might encounter such tests in other fields of study.Share
7 November 2017
When it comes to handling yourself in business, things are easier said than done. It can be hard to keep your cool, especially when you are concerned about keeping your employees on task and protecting your bottom line. I wanted to start a blog about business to give myself somewhere to collect my thoughts, and it was really incredible to see what I could do to make things right. This blog is all about creating a stronger, more sustainable business long term, and being able to ward off common business problems. Check out these posts for great information that can help you to live a better life.