Materials List: E.G. Benedict's Ambulance Patient Safety Challenge

A photo shows a ramp made from an eight-foot wooden board with one end on the floor and the other end resting on the top of three stacked plastic milk crates.
Figure 1. Activity setup for ambulance roadway prototype testing (level 3).
Copyright © 2012 Jared R. Quinn, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Each group needs:

  • 1 wooden small-scale prototype ambulance frame made from ¼-in x 1½-in x 6-in (.64-cm x 3.2-cm x 15.3-cm) wood plank with wheels attached using hot glue, as shown in Figure 2; pine recommended; see details in Procedures section
  • 2 metal axles, such as stock #390361 at, 1/8-in diameter x 2½-in long steel rods (.32-cm x 6.4-cm)
  • 2 plastic straw axle holders, such as stock #330327 at, ¼-in diameter x 7¾-in long (.64-cm x 19.69-cm)
  • 4 plastic wheels, such as stock #990168 at, 1 3/8-in (3.5-cm) diameter, 3/32-in (.29-cm) tread width, center hole fits 1/8-in axle
  • 1 raw egg in its shell
  • hot glue gun
  • tin snips, for cutting cardboard
  • scissors
  • computers with internet access, for conducting background research
  • graph paper, ruler and pencil, one each per student
  • Engineering Design Process Graphic Organizer, one per student
  • Guided Background Research Worksheet, one per student
  • Ambulance Engineering Design Project Packet, one per student

To share with the entire class:

  • computer with internet access and projector to show students a short YouTube video
  • E.G. Benedict's Ambulance Project Poster, a visual aid to either show the class via computer or overhead projector, post in classroom, or make handouts
  • 1 adjustable "roadway" ramp, made from plywood, 8-ft long x 1.5-ft wide x 1/2-in thick (2.4-m x 45.7-cm x 1.27-cm), as shown in Figure 1)
  • 5 milk crates, used to prop-up ramp at different levels, as shown in Figure 1
  • a variety of recycled "building" materials, such as assorted types of cardboard (corrugated, cereal boxes, etc.), rubber bands, cotton balls, paperclips, string, plastic wrap, packing peanuts, bubble wrap; ask students to bring these types of found materials from home
  • hot glue sticks
  • masking tape
  • wood saw, to cut wheel notches for ambulance frame (if necessary)
  • (optional) drill and bits, to place small holes around ambulance frame as attachment points
  • scale or triple-beam-balance, to weigh prototype ambulances