As part of a Design Cycle Experience, juniors in Precalculus Honors worked together as teams of mechanical engineers to build machines that incorporated rotation. The groups could make any type of machine, but each was required to have three rotational components of different sizes and change an angular speed from one amount to another to accomplish its purpose. In Tinkercad, they designed gears and printed them on the 3D printers in the Maker Lab. Students applied what they learned about calculating linear and angular speed of rotational motion using radians to design the gears and other rotational components with the proper dimensions. They also integrated skills from geometry and algebra (as well as concepts from physics). After assembling their machines, they were required to demonstrate its functionality and show that the angular speed was transformed in the way intended. They also submitted two detailed diagrams and completed a comprehensive questionnaire. Machine examples included an amusement park ride, conveyor belt, music box, and train tracks.
Precalculus Honors Students Build Machines