Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Henry Ford - Inventors & Inventions

Contrary to what most of us believe, Henry Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line.  What he did accomplish was the improvement of both ideas.  He added a moving conveyor belt to the assembly line, which allowed him to create cars quickly, leading to a drop in price.  The Model T was  the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. Cars quickly became, not a luxury, but a practical item that greatly influenced the twentieth century world.

In class activities:

  • Looked at historic images of automobiles
  • Learned about the origins of automobiles, including steam powered vehicles
  • Attempted to "invent" our own car with a collection of parts
  • Discussed the advantages of using an assembly line, and tried creating our own
  • Learned about the differences between an assembly line and a moving assembly line
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Think of one "Fascinating Fact" from all of your research on your inventor/invention and write it down to add to your presentation board.
  • Practice your timeline

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wright Brothers - Inventors & Inventions

Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) Wright were were two American brothers and bicycle mechanics.  As inventors and aviation pioneers, they invented the world's first successful airplane and made the first controlled, powered and sustained human flight, on December 17, 1903. 

In Class Activities:

  • Watched portions of KittyHawk
  • Worked on our presentation boards
  • Built gliders
  • experimented with different wing patterns
  • Discussed other inventors who tried to fly
Optional lesson extension activities:

  • Every inventor fails and struggles at some point.  Write a few sentences about the obstacles your inventor faced.  
  • Practice your timeline

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guglielmo Marconi - Inventors & Inventions

Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio signals through air.  Instead of sending messages through wires as were previously used int he telegraph system, he used electromagnetic (radio) waves.  His system of radio became known as wireless telegraphy.  In 1901Marconi succeeded in sending waves across the Atlantic from England to Canada, a distance of more than 2,000 miles (3,300 kilometers). This led the way for huge advancements, particularly for ships which used his technology to send distress signals when they were sinking or in trouble. Marconi sent his messages in Morse code.

In class activities:

  • Learned about the life of Marconi
  • Built (or attempted to build) our own electromagnets
  • Discussed the changes that radio brought to the world
  • Learned about a murderer caught at sea via radio
  • Made our radio drama covering the life of Marconi with our own sound effects
Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Continue to perfect your electromagnet. Instructions here
  • Listen to old radio dramas at OldTimeRadio.  Pay attention to sound effects.
  • Find an image of your inventor.  At the bottom indicate the source where you found the image. 
  • On a slip of paper in LARGE, NICE handwriting, write your inventor's full name, with his dates of birth and death written below the name, and their country of origin below that.  It will look like this:
Jenny Smith
  • Continue to work on your model, sample, or other project that you intend to display with your poster.