Students learn about torsion as a force acting upon structures and have the opportunity to design something to withstand this force.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. (www.jesandco.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology
- I. Specify criteria and constraints for the design. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- Massachusetts: Science
- 2.5 Explain how such design features as size, shape, weight, function, and cost limitations would affect the construction of a given prototype. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- 2.2 Demonstrate methods of representing solutions to a design problem, e.g., sketches, orthographic projections, multiview drawings. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- 5.3 Explain how the forces of tension, compression, torsion, bending, and shear affect the performance of bridges. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- 2.4 Identify appropriate materials, tools, and machines needed to construct a prototype of a given engineering design. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- 2.3 Describe and explain the purpose of a given prototype. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- Students learn the concept of a moment (torque) of a force and learn how to calculate moments.
- Students learn how moments ("turning forces") create bending and torsion loads on structures.
- Students understand the effects of bending and torsion loads.
- Students gain an appreciation of how engineers can design a structure to resist bending and torsion.
Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers
- Wimpy Radar Antenna - Students reinforce an antenna tower made from foam insulation so that it can withstand specified bending and twisting moments (torques) with minimal deflection. They discuss the problem, run initial tests and graph the results. Then they design, construct and test sturdier towers, and graph the results.
Douglas Prime, Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, Tufts University
Last modified: March 30, 2015