The Dragster Challenge Year 8 Mandatory Technology: Engineered Systems

Left to right: Josie Strong, Emma Robinson, Allwyn Park, Luke Richards, Ivolet-Jasmin Mc Away-Davis and Bree O’Neill

Left to right: Josie Strong, Emma Robinson, Allwyn Park, Luke Richards, Ivolet-Jasmin Mc Away-Davis and Bree O’Neill

Another exciting unit of work covered in Year 8 Mandatory Technology involved the Dragster Challenge. Students were given a kit for a dragster and they had to construct the model from a set of instructions. Students started this during the period of remote learning, but completed it when they returned to class. They had an opportunity to experiment and develop prototypes to test their solutions. They, furthermore, learnt about the ways in which force, motion and energy can be used in systems, machines and structures and applied this knowledge in building and testing their dragsters. Students also investigated the effects of gearing on speed and acceleration. The Dragsters were designed to provide an easy introduction to electro-mechanical devices.

In Weeks 5 and 6, students had an opportunity to race the dragsters they had built. After a bit of work using hot glue guns, some soldering and the wide range of tools and equipment available in the TAS faculty, they were set to race. The dragsters were raced over a distance of 200 meters and they were hooked to fishing line. Competition was fierce and Mr Heaney was the official racing marshal. Allwyn Park recorded the fastest time of 6.63 seconds and an average speed of 10.8756 km/h. The dragster’s average velocity/speed (m/s) was 3.016m a second.

Well done to the students, as well as to Mr Heaney and Ms Smith on their excellent work and creativity!


Engineering Fun! Catapult Challenge! Year 8 Technology

During the period of remote learning, Year 8 students in the Engineering systems rotation of Mandatory Technology were given a Catapult Challenge. The goal was to build a catapult that can launch a ping pong/cotton balls so that it hits the targets in the game. Students had to find and use popsicle sticks, straws, rubber bands, spoon, tape, scissors and cotton balls. The brief is outlined below. Students tested their catapult by trying to hit as many of the targets as possible in as few shots as possible. In the process, students learnt how force affects the motion of a projectile, as well as the optimum angle for launching a projectile.

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