Innovation: George Rickey Kinetic Sculpture
South Bend 2009 - 2010


 
Lesson 8: Machines (Control of motion)
Grades: all, depending on the leading questions
Resources: (1) More
pictures of Rickey sculptures; (2) Three 30 second videos of the sculptures

    Possible Questions
What is at the center of a measuring balance? (Grades K-12)
How are the parts of the Rickey sculptures held together? (Grades K-12)
What is a “knife-edge”? What is a “gimbel”? (Grades 7-12)
Are there any knife-edges or gimbels at home, in a car or in this classroom? (Grades K-12)
Teacher help:
Beginning/introduction:
Show the class a meter stick balanced in the middle or show them the triple-beam balance used in the classroom
- try to get them to ask the follow-up questions.
Middle:
Hands–on: lower grades can build a mobile; higher grades can build a mobile using knife-edges or other forms of “balance-points”;
higher grades can investigate and build different types of movable connections
(Rotating connections are used on fishing rods - they are called “Barrel Swivels”
- packs of 20 or 25 can be bought for about $2 - very useful for building rotating parts)
Summing up the experience: Whole class discussions
Linking motion controls with the production of repetitive motion
Extensions: Clocks and watches - other examples of repetitive motion -
this can lead to studying quite complex machinery, and breaking down all their parts into small single-moving parts
How do human body joints work - are there different types?

Some Standards