Part of Lesson Plan: Why Be an Engineer? by John Rose
Activity Overview / Details
An introductory lesson to be delivered on the first or second day of school.
**Nothing grabs attention better than a disaster.**
Start lesson by asking students why they may want to become an engineer. Students will have varying answers. Continue calling on students until the basic answers have been covered. (build bridges, buildings, make lots of money, counselor put me here, etc.) Acknowledge all valid answers.
Slide #1- 5 Reasons to be an Engineer. Explain that all those reason are good reasons to be an engineer (accept for " the counselor put me in here.....i didnt have a choice"). Go on to explain that you have 5 REALLY good reasons to become an engineer.
Shock and Awe- Slide #2- play video clip of Pinto rear end crash. Say "This is a good reason to become an engineer". "Hundreds of people were burnt to death in these cars."
Slide #3- play video clip of AA Flight 191. (DC-10 engine mounts) "You could be the engineer that discovered that a flaw in the design of the engine mounts would lead to the crash that killed 271 people". Refer to diagram on slide showing flaw.
Slide #4- play video clip of Space Shuttle Disaster. "You could be the engineer that designs a better system of sealing joints on rockets that in turn would prevent the death of astronauts and billions of dollars of equipment..
Slide #5- play video clip of Concorde. (Zero Growth Tires) "You could be the engineer that invents a tire that will not expand at high speeds
Slide #6- play video clip Tahcoma Narrows bridge. (Wind and resonance frequency) "You could be the engineer that discovers the effects of resonance with structures and nature.
Continue emphasising that they could be the engineer that discovers a better way to do something, a fix to a recurring problem, designs a better system after analyzing a failure.... saving future lives.
Students may point out that they could also be the engineer that creates one of these disasters. (If a student does not bring this up, be sure to bring it up yourself). Explain that this is true. There is always the chance for mistakes. Engineering is not a perfect science and engineers are not perfect beings, HOWEVER... that should be even more motivation to become an engineer. Engineers create things that do not exist. Engineers step boldly into the unknown many times to make our world better than it is.
Materials / Resource
- 5 reasons to be an Engineer ppt [ Download ]
- Concorde video [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- DC-10 Video [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Pinto Video [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Space Shuttle Video [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Tacoma Narrows Video [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]