Construction Project: Compound Machine

IT’S ALWAYS good to see my students working their brains out to use what they have learned in the classroom to build something. After we have discussed rotational motion, and work, power, and energy, I asked my students to build a compound machine, with three things in mind: a) functionality, b) build, and c) mechanical advantage.

To be be able to guide my students through this project, I asked them to submit a plan, which includes a detailed sketch, measurements and proportions, and a discussion of the mechanical advantage and practical applications. The challenge was to build their prototypes using scrap.

Prior to actual project construction, I discussed with my students how they plan to construct their project and I asked them questions that will help them improve their ideas. I also told them they could find mock CSCS tests at to further their practice. After their plans have been approved, they started building their prototypes.

I also scheduled a presentation of their project, where they showcased to the class the product of their intellect and labor.

young engineers
Students get the feel of a being an engineer
project presentaion
They visualize how their projects will work
project presentation 2
The students attempt to address common real-life problems with their machines
discussing details
The students’ ability to communicate their ideas is also developed
proud of their output
You can see how proud they are of their output

Through projects like this, I allow my students to take their learning to another level by thinking of ways by which their knowledge can be used to address real-life problems.

The students’ performance was assessed using a set of rubrics that involves how their projects reflect their knowledge of physics concepts they learned, how they are able to express their thoughts and ides during the presentation, how they are able to work with other members of their groups, and their promptness in meeting the deadlines.

These projects only require their knowledge in basic mechanics, but what they learn from activities like this can still be applicable if they wish to go into product design and engineering, and even robotics.

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan is a physics teacher at Alabel National Science High School. He is an advocate of constructivism approach in education. He employs active learning and independent learning in his lessons, and, of course, a lot of technology integration. His goal is to produce students who can solve problems on their own using the concepts they learn in the classroom. Ariel Lalisan is a Google Certified Innovator (Google Teachers Academy Southeast Asia 2014) and a community leader at Google Educator Group Sarangani. He is a co-founder of SoCCSKSarGen and he won the Globe Media Excellence Blogger of the Year Award in 2015.

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