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? Today, you will act as if you are engineers. Your design challenge is to think of creative ways to protect 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. We call this concept of sharing ideas 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 (often 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
Before the Activity
With the Students
Investigating Questions (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
References (Return to Contents)
Cleary, Beverly. Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York, NY: Camelot, 2000.
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2004 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University
Last Modified: September 2, 2014