oscar dominguez
2 years ago
Last Updated
1 month ago
This project combines Physics, Biology, and Construction Design to learn about limbs from insects to humans.

The physics lessons begin with studying torque and how it causes rotation, following the with experimenting with levers and how to calculate the mechanical advantage. Work and energy of simple levers and how it can be applied to the human arm is also introduced. Finally a model arm is constructed in the last lesson and experiments are conducted on mechanical advantage, applied forces and work and energy.

The wood working lesson has to do with how design evolves - whether it's the limb of an animal or an object being built, good design is EVERYTHING. If it doesn't work in an animal, the animal dies or that particular strain goes extinct. If it doesn't work in an object, the object does not sell; money, time and resources are lost - the capitalist's version of extinction. Elements and evaluating good design principals are the core of this arc of lessons, and the construction of a well designed oven push stick to keep from burning your fingers is the end result.

The Biology section covers the anatomy and physiology of limb movement, the evolution of limbs and the different types of limbs in the animal kingdom. The four lessons are part of an integrated project that provides knowledge of limbs that will apply to the culminating project of creating a model limb.

This unit is brought to you by Oscar Dominguez (Science), Howard White (CTE), and John Moorhead (Science) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead Gregg Witkin.


Industries / Pathways
  • Building and Construction Trades Building and Construction Trades
K-12 Subjects
  • Science
    • Life Sciences
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Locomotion Evolution

Catch It When You Can - Skeletal Muscles

Running On All Four - Evolution of Limbs

Appearances Can Be Deceiving - Comparative Anatomy

Making the World Go Round - Torque and Rotation

The Three Classes of Levers and Mechanical Advantage

Work and Energy in Simple Machines

Build a Model Arm

Design: Form Follows Function!

The Great Ghastly - Good and Bad Design

Design: Brainstorm a New Utensil

Brainstorm a New Utensil - Final Work and Prosthetic Adaptations