Hands-on Activity: Make an Alarm!
Educational Standards :
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
What is the purpose of a car alarm? (Listen to student ideas.) It helps prevent thieves from stealing your car by triggering a loud alarm and drawing attention to the scene. How would you protect something that is valuable to you from being stolen if you were unable to watch it at all times? As an engineer, you must think of creative ways for protecting your locker, desk, or classroom door. Can you create a set of booby traps that will alert you if someone is trying to break in?
Engineers usually work in teams. The advantage of working in a team is that everyone's ideas can be combined to come up with a great idea. This concept of sharing ideas is called brainstorming.
Vocabulary/Definitions (Return to Contents)
Procedure (Return to Contents)
An alarm is a device that warns or signals, as by a bell, buzzer, or whistle. Alarms work by having some type of unwanted action set them off. Alarms take many forms. Some examples include: fire alarms, car alarms, alarm clocks, and security alarms.
Inside a wind-up alarm clock. Good step-by-step pictures of a wind-up alarm clock. Shows inner workings of clock, including gears.: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/clocks-watches/inside-clock.htm
History of time-keeping devices. Ancient Greeks introduced alarm clocks using water.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_timekeeping_devices
How digital clocks work: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/clocks-watches/digital-clock.htm
Gather materials to be used by students to build alarms.
Investigating Questions (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
References (Return to Contents)
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Copyright© 2004 by Worcester Polytechnic Institute including copyrighted works of other educational institutions; all rights reserved.
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University
Last Modified: April 15, 2014