*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
Many industries rely on scale models to develop new products and designs. Architects, industrial designers, artists, clothing designers, and car manufacturers all use scale models. Each model is built to a scale that relates the actual object to the model through a ratio. Can you determine a formula for constructing a scale model? You can use your formula to make a model of your house, school, neighborhood, or town (CUBE, 2002). You can make scale models of the Wright Brothers aircraft designs from 1900-1903. (Storm and Benson, 2003) You can also do the opposite, blow a model up into a life size object. Can you determine a formula to convert a model into life size? You can use your formula to evaluate if a model is realistic. Try comparing toy cars, dolls, dinosaurs, or action figures to life size objects. Are the models realistic? (McCoy, 2004; Fassett and Millbyer, 2006)
Storm, R., and Benson, T. 2003. "Models of the Wright Brothers' Aircraft (1900-1903)," Glenn Research Center (GRC), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). [accessed: 5/1/06] http://wright.nasa.gov/ROGER/models.htm
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
CAD (computer-aided design) technicians combine art and engineering to prepare the technical drawings and plans from which everything in the world is made--from toys to toasters, houses to hoses, satellites to sewer systems. CAD technicians are essential to the design and construction of everything you see around you.
The essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson called Greek architecture the "flowering of geometry." Architects blend art and science, designing structures for people, such as houses, apartments, schools, stores, malls, offices, places of worship, museums, sports stadiums, music theaters, and convention centers. Their designs must take into account not only the structure's appearance, but its safety, function, environmental impact, and cost. Architects often participate in all phases of design, from the initial consultation with the clients where the structure is envisioned, to its completion. Architects can enrich people lives by creating structures that are as beautiful to look at as they are functional to live, work, or shop in.
Commercial & Industrial Designer
Have you always loved art? Do you have a good eye for beauty, balance, and form? How would you like to see your designs show up in toy stores? Or in a sporting goods store? Or at a car dealer? Commercial and industrial designers create the shape and form of every type of manufactured good that you can think of—from toys, sporting goods, and medical equipment to high technology products, furniture, toothbrushes, and toasters. They design the form of new products that are as beautiful and pleasing to look at as they are functional.
Multimedia Artist or Animator
If you've ever watched a cartoon, played a video game, or seen an animated movie, you've seen the work of multimedia artists and animators. People in these careers use computers to create the series of pictures that form the animated images or special effects seen in movies, television programs, and computer games.
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