Engineering involves the purposeful application of mathematical and natural sciences and a body of engineering knowledge, technology and techniques to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human needs and wants. Considering the recent warfare and natural diesters, it has been a issue to evacuate civilians since bridged were destroyed.
How can you build a (pneumatic) pontoon bridge to evacuate civilians?
How to build a (pneumatic) pontoon bridge to evacuate civilians?
During wartime, natural disasters or civil emergencies, pontoon bridges have been considered as feasible solutions in terms of time, mobility, resources in hand or other factors. Considering the recent warfare, most bridges were destroyed. Thus, evacuating civilians was a serious problem. Drawing upon this issue, how can you build a (pneumatic) pontoon bridge to evacuate civilians and/or to deliver humanitarian aid? You may use Engineering Design Process among other design-based problem solving approaches to design a prototype of pontoon bridge.
Engineering Design Process is an analytic and creative problem-solving process that engages a person in opportunities to make something physical and/or digital that matters. Engineers often use the Engineering Design Process described below to solve problems. The Engineering Design Process revolves around five stages: Ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve (see Table 1). This process is not linear, you will go back and forth between these stages while developing things, objects, systems, or processes that solve the problem. The goal here is to apply engineering design process as students iteratively work towards generating creative solutions to a challenging problem and work like an engineer. Engineers chose a problem or identify a need to work on. Then, they do research and find possible solutions. Next, they create the solution they chose and test their prototype. Based on the evaluation results of how people react about the prototype, they improve their design.
1. Search recent wartime news and define the problem in an engineering context.
2. Brainstorm ideas and possible solutions.
3. Draw a model or build a fast prototype which addresses the problem
4. Make a list of materials needed and plan how to build the product
5. Follow the plan to create the product, tests the product, gather information/data from the testing
6. Evaluate the results, improve the design, retest and re-evaluate.
When designing a pneumatic pontoon bridge, the engineer should take into account the Archimedes' principle stating that a body immersed in a fluid experiences an upthrust equal to the weight of the fluid displaced, and this is fundamental to the equilibrium of a body floating in still water.
Further information about the solution also available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/archimedes-principle
Depending on the resources in hand a prototype of a pneumatic pontoon bridge can be build, tested, evaluated and refined. Recently, 3D printing technology has radically changed the prototyping process. The pneumatic pontoon bridge can also be produced by using a 3D printer.
Engineering concepts and practices implicitly or explicitly integrated into K-12 curricula over the years. By doing so, design-based learning has been commonly used in addition to inquiry-based learning. In this example, the user experiences with an authentic real-life problem to develop a technology in this case a pneumatic pontoon bridge. Another good part of this example is that it includes both a design-based and inquiry based approaches for addressing the problem in hand.
Dealing with a problem in authentic context
The engineering design processes discussed in this example can be taken into account while teaching STEM in an interconnected and meaningful way in real-world context. Integrating epistemic practices of engineering in education enables us to define the real problem, generate solutions to best meet the criteria and constraints of the problem, test, refine, and improve the final design by trading off less important features for those that are more important.
The goal is to generating solutions to best meet to a real world problem.
1. Read the text carefully!
2. How do overcome with this problem.
3. Put yourself in the role of an engineer. How would you design an artifact to address the problem?
4. Do your own (internet) research.