the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
the International Business Machines
This is a lesson focused on engineering design principles associated with sailboats. Students explore what marine engineers and naval architects do as they design a sailboat out of everyday objects that can catch a breeze from a fan and stay afloat with a set load. The driving question of the lesson: How do marine engineers apply physical concepts (including Bernoulli's Principle, lift, and drag) in the design and construction of sails?
The lesson follows a module format that includes objectives and learner outcomes, problem sets, student guides, recommended reading, illustrated procedures, worksheets, and background information about the engineering connections. The lesson plan and student worksheets are available for download. This collection is part of TryEngineering.org, a website maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Editor's Note:Sailboats provide an engaging way to investigate action/reaction, aerodynamics, and Bernoulli's Principle. See Related Materials for links to two videos that discuss the fundamental physics involved in the motion of sailboats.
Metadata instance created
July 25, 2012
by Gnana Subramaniam
October 20, 2012
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 4, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.
8. The Designed World
8B. Materials and Manufacturing
6-8: 8B/M2. Manufacturing usually involves a series of steps, such as designing a product, obtaining and preparing raw materials, processing the materials mechanically or chemically, and assembling the product. All steps may occur at a single location or may occur at different locations.
9-12: 8B/H1. Manufacturing processes have been changed by improved tools and techniques based on more thorough scientific understanding, increases in the forces that can be applied and the temperatures that can be reached, and the availability of electronic controls that make operations occur more rapidly and consistently.
11. Common Themes
9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
6-8: 12C/M5. Analyze simple mechanical devices and describe what the various parts are for; estimate what the effect of making a change in one part of a device would have on the device as a whole.
Common Core State Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6—12
Key Ideas and Details (6-12)
RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Common Core State Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6—12
Research to Build and Present Knowledge (6-12)
WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Sail Away. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010. http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=37 (accessed 30 July 2014).
TryEngineering: Sail Away. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2007. 4 Dec. 2010. International Business Machines. 30 July 2014 <http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=37>.
%0 Electronic Source %D December 4, 2010 %T TryEngineering: Sail Away %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %V 2014 %N 30 July 2014 %8 December 4, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=37
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