Skip Navigation

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Mid-America Transportation Center

Teacher Resource Center

Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:
Design of a Sustainable and Strong Structure using Catenaries

Teachers:
Mr. Lee Kallstrom (Primary)

Brief Description:
This is an exploratory-application requiring creative thinking and creative problem solving which is critical for future leadership/success. Students will discuss structural components used for home construction, bridges, throughout the history of Architecture . Students will be tasked with designing and fabricating a structure using catenaries.

Topics Introduced:

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Logistics Planning and Management Services
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
7th Grade
8th Grade

Subjects:
Mathematics
Science
Engineering
Standards Taught:
12.4.2 Math 2006
12.4.3 Math 2006
12.4.6 Math 2006
12.2.1 Science 2003
12.4.3 Science 2003
12.6.1 Science 2003
12.8.1 Science 2003

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

Students will gain insight into the use of Catenary application to structural components. Also, an appreciation of certain Architectural forms through the development of modern design.

Plan Of Action:


1. Introduction
a. Using the PowerPoint presentation on catenaries (Catenarypowerpoint.ppt) a review of the history of sustainable structures including catenaries, masonry structures and sustainability will be completed. (Students will be asked to bring in materials for hanging and gluing and their selection of material for the model or provided it depending on the teachers discretion.)
b. Show video (TheBigKite.wmv)
2. Exploration and Concept Development
a. Students will begin research for their presentation.
b. Students begin drawing and designing their project
c. Students will prepare materials for model building and begin model when they are ready. During this section, students will glue up projects (see Catenarypowerpoint.ppt.)
d. Students will finish project and finish presentation
3. Students will give their presentations. (EvaluationRubric.doc)

Data Set Used:

The data set used will be generated by the students and come from the PowerPoint (Catenarypowerpoint.ppt) and by using the materials provided.

Materials Needed:

PowerPoint: Catenarypowerpoint.ppt
Rubric for Grading: EvaluationRubric.doc
Video file: TheBigKite.wmv
Computer with internet access
Pieces of material like cloth or string
Glue

Supporting Materials:

Architecture
http://www.aia.org/
http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/cd/?id=102752
http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/LEEDdocs/3.4xLEEDRatingSystemJune01.pdf
http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/landmarks/Default.htm
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Casa_Mila.html
"Dome (architecture)," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Architecture in Omaha and Nebraska
http://www.kiewit.com/
http://www.livelyomaha.org/whatsnew/riverfront/update.htm#top
http://www.nebraskahistory.org/histpres/nrhp.htm
http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/

West Dodge Project
http://www.nebraskatransportation.org/projects/omaha-west-dodge/listing.htm
http://www.nebraskatransportation.org/projects/omaha-west-dodge/djvu/may_02_pim_aerial_scroll_1_2000.djvu
http://www.nebraskatransportation.org/projects/omaha-west-dodge/djvu/may_02_pim_aerial_scroll_1_2000.djvu
Douglas Co Parcel Search
http://webarc.co.douglas.ne.us/website/parcelmapping/viewer.htm
www.wilhelm-aerospace.org/.../ne-capitol.html

Bridges
www.bu.edu/bridge
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://www.schillerinstitute.org/fid_02-06/031_long_life_catenary.html
www.nisd.net/.../struct_hotlist/structures.html
www.thefuturechannel.com



Preparation Period:

Review PowerPoint and plan blocks for completion
Suggested: 1-2 planning periods
-Review PowerPoint and evaluation criteria
-Obtain materials and prepare glue
-Set up classroom

Implementation Period:

Dependent on ability levels, 4-6 class periods. The following is a suggested time line:
Period 1 – Introduction – Using the PowerPoint presentation on Catenaries (Catenarypowerpoint.ppt) a Review of the history of sustainable structures including catenaries, masonry structures and sustainability will be completed. Show video (TheBigKite.wmv). Students will begin research for their presentation. If needed, assign students to bring materials.
Period 2 – Students will bring in materials for hanging and gluing and their selection of material for the model. Students begin drawing and designing their project. Students will prepare materials for model building and begin model when they are ready.
Period 3 – Students will glue up project and work on presentation
Period 4 – Students will finish project and finish presentation
Period 5 – Students will make their presentations (EvaluationRubric.doc)

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

- The use of catenaries, hyperbolas and other math concepts are important for efficient structural design and sustainable architecture.
- It is important for students to understand that in the natural world designs of efficient building materials and concepts can be applied to man-made structures.

Unexpected Results:

Creativity of students will add new approaches to this project and will determine future projects.


Lesson Files
Catenarylessonplan.doc

[size: 40960] [date uploaded: Jun 04, 2008, 10:12 am ]

Catenarypowerpoint.ppt

[size: 2522112] [date uploaded: Jun 04, 2008, 10:12 am ]

EvaluationRubric.doc

[size: 1145856] [date uploaded: Jun 04, 2008, 10:12 am ]

TheBigKite.wmv

[size: 5322994] [date uploaded: Jun 04, 2008, 10:12 am ]

Some video files may require Adobe Flash to open or view.
Download Adobe Flash Player