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Frontal Impact Safety Challenge

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Keywords: connecting tabs, laminating, prototype, crush zone
Subject(s): No
Grades 8 through 10
School: Conner Senior High School, Hebron, KY
Planned By: Richard Henson
Original Author: Richard Henson, Hebron
Lesson Plan Date/Length
Oct. 20/ 8 Days

Unit: Transportation Title: Frontal Impact Safety Challenge

Targeted Standard(s): 1.11 Students write using appropriate forms, conventions, and styles to communicate ideas and information to different audiences for different purposes; 2.3 Students identify and analyze systems and the ways their components work together or affect each other; 5.5 Students use problem-solving processes to develop solutions to relatively complex problems.

Major Content: Student will be able to: provide sufficient details and appropriate depth of elaboration for clear understanding; apply teamwork and critical thinking strategies to solve technology problems; explore how inquiry/problem-solving impact science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; investigate and apply expert systems and simulations in real-world situations; develop an understanding of engineering design; and develop an understanding of and be able to select and use transportation technologies.

Activity: Students will design and build a four-wheeled vehicle capable of protecting a raw egg from damage if the vehicle is involved in a front end crash.

Resources: four sheets of 8½” x 11” copy paper, one sheet of 8½” x 11” card stock, one 3½” x Ό” wide rubber band, and one 9½” long by ⅛” diameter dowel rod.

Procedure: Students will follow the Problem-Solving Process to develop a solution to the problem stated on the assignment.

1. Teams will be required to design and construct a four-wheeled vehicle that will protect a raw egg from damage if the vehicle is involved in a front end crash.
2. Each team will develop a design brief: a written, detailed description including sketches of how they are going to build their vehicle. Design briefs should include ideas of safety devices employed to protect the egg.
3. Upon completion of the design brief each team will then produce a prototype (non-rolling) vehicle which will show their understanding of the design brief.
4. Prototypes will then be developed into the actual vehicle, using the provided materials only, and following the required specifications as detailed in the assignment.

NAME __________________________

Technology Concepts
Frontal Impact Safety Challenge
Two-person Team Project

The Problem:

The Red Rooster Transportation Company has sent out bids for new vehicles in which to transport their eggs. It has been determined the present company vehicles are not strong enough to fully protect their fragile cargo. Frontal impact has become a huge problem, costing the company excessive amounts in loss of product, increasing insurance rates, and personal injury. Your company, the your company name partnership, is to design and construct a new type of vehicle that will protect Red Rooster’s product from being damaged if involved in a frontal impact.


A Design Brief (see attached) must be submitted prior to design and construction, which includes the following required information: Sketches are required for this assignment.

Design Specifications
• Length= 8 inches minimum, 12 inches maximum
• Width= 2 inches minimum, 4 inches maximum
• Height= 1.5 inches minimum, 5 inches maximum
• Cargo area= not more than 1 inch off center
• Four wheels, any source is acceptable, even hand made
• Two axles

Legal Features
• Bumpers
• Roll bars
• Air bags
• Crush zones
• Break-away parts
• Lamination
• Seat belts
• Form-fitting seats

Illegal Features
• Brakes-of any kind
• Parachutes, scoops, or any other device that slows the vehicles speed
• Extra wheels
• Foreign objects for protection-cotton, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, etc.
• Tape, staples

Materials Provided: (for prototype & finished vehicle)

• Four (4) sheets of 8½” x 11” copy paper
• One (1) sheet of 8½” x 11” card stock
• One (1) rubber band
• One (1) 10” x ⅛” diameter rod

Key Terms: (to be used in your design brief)

• Connecting tabs = Made only from paper, similar to those you find on paper dolls
• Crush Zone = Impact absorbing area of the vehicle, intentionally designed to collapse at a controlled rate of speed
• Lamination = the layering of several pieces of material together to increase strength
• Prototype = an experimental or non-rolling practice version of the design (does not have to be actual size of finished vehicle).

Keys to Success:

Successful designs will have four key features properly integrated into the vehicle.

• A good seat
• Seat Belt
• Rigid passenger area
• Correctly designed crush zone

Evaluation Criteria:

Value Your Score
• Design Brief 35 points _______
• Prototype 15 points _______
• Follows Specs. 30 points _______
• Quality Construction 30 points _______
Impact Results (Egg protection)
• No Damage 25 points _______
• Slight crack/dent 20 points _______
• Oozing crack/dent 15 points _______
• Ejection from Vehicle 5 points _______
• Catastrophic Failure 0 points _______

Total Possible Points 175 Total _______

NAME ____________________________

Technology Education
Design Brief

What is a “Design Brief”?

A design brief clearly states how you are going to solve a problem. Usually it is written in response to a given problem, and may be from a teacher or in an examination. The brief must be easy to read and follow and presented very clearly, especially if graphics are required (such as drawings). The brief must also tell how you intend to solve the problem. All Technology Education design briefs will be written and include sketches.

Some helpful advice: What you need to do if you want a good grade.

• Start a design brief with “I am (We are) going to design and make .....”. This is followed by a general description of the type of device you think will answer the problem.
• Do not be too specific. The brief should be a general description that allows you to be flexible regarding the type of product you intend to make. For example, if you are making an automatic animal feeder it may not be a good idea to say what animal it is for.
• Do not be too specific about materials (unless materials are provided). It may be wise to avoid saying what the exact materials it will be made of (wood, paper, etc.). Instead describe the materials to be used as, strong, flexible, natural, manmade, or other general description.
• Mention important points such as: safety, general size (approximate), it’s functions (what it will do), general properties of the material needed (how much, how they will work, etc.), what will it accomplish, or other important points you feel are needed.
• Make sure you think through the problem completely before you write out the brief. Remember, the first step of the Problem-Solving Process is: State the Problem Clearly! Then Brainstorm!
Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Books