Belleville: Engineering Explorations 6/19-23

Belleville: Engineering Explorations 6/19-23


Today, in Engineering Explorations, the students learned about the anatomy of the heart and lungs and how they function in the human body. Our bioengineers built their own working model of a lung and demonstrated how the diaphragm works based on air pressure differentials. The end goal of the day was to relate the lung model to relevant heart anatomy and physiology.

Ask your student: What is the purpose of the diaphragm in the repertory system? (Each breath begins with a contraction of a dome-shaped sheet of muscle underneath the lungs called the diaphragm. During inhalation (taking air into your lungs) your diaphragm contracts, or flattens downward, which reduces pressure in the chest cavity. Normal outside air pressure is higher, which forces air through the nose and mouth, down the trachea and into the lungs where pressure is lower (pressure systems move from high to low). On the other hand, upon exhalation your diaphragm relaxes, which increases pressure on the lungs and forcing air, containing carbon dioxide, out of the body.)


This week, our engineers are building boats using simple items. Today they used aluminum foil to build their boats to test how much weight they could hold. They learned principles about load, and about the Archimedes Principle!

Ask your students: How did the Archimedes Principle relate to your activity today? Why do you think this Principle is important to know? (Answers will vary)


In this lesson, our engineers applied the knowledge they learned earlier in the week in a race to assemble two different types of circuits, parallel and series. Their creativity really lit up the room as they explored the difference between these two circuit types by powering LED lights in each of these styles.

Ask your student: What is the main difference between parallel and series circuits? (Only one path in a series circuit; parallel there are multiple paths) Which circuit style causes voltage drop? (series)

Fun Fact: Refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters use series circuits while electrical outlets in a room, house, or building use parallel circuits.


Today, our engineers explored how their knowledge could be applied to the real world, by building solar cars! In this first part of a two part lesson, the students tested how different types of light effected their motors. Then, they got the wheel rolling by creating the body of their solar cars. Tomorrow they’ll complete their cars and put them to the test!

Ask your student: What is a solar cell? (It’s the “battery” of the car; it converts light into energy)

Fun fact:  The first solar cars were built in the 1950’s.


Today students finished their Rube Goldberg machines, and took turns demonstrating them to the rest of the class! Using the Rube Rubric, each team was evaluated for the competition, and had the opportunity to observe all the different machines that were made.

 Ask your student: How well did your Rube Goldberg machine perform?