Hello Project VENTURA readers! As you might have heard from my classmate Briana these past few days during class we have been learning the principles of engineering. All of these principles will help us build our green house! And since this will be our first big building project it would be smart to review the basics before we begin. I am Shilah and I am one of the engineering students in Ms. Jo’s class. Recently in class we have learned about Introduction to Statistics, Free Body Diagrams, and Summation of Forces in Static Equilibrium. Some of this information we have previously learned in physics, last year and this year we are adding to that knowledge more about how it all relates to the real world.
As a class we reviewed over the different types of equilibrium such as Static Equilibrium, Transitional Equilibrium and Rotational Equilibrium, which can all help us understand why something we may be building is not sturdy. It’s good to know this vocabulary so when we need help we can make sure we are asking the correct question. When building a greenhouse we also have to know a lot about free body diagrams, which is a way to show the relative magnitude and direction of all forces acting upon an object in a given situation. Basically it means to find out whether an object is balanced by all the forces pushing or pulling on it! In a free body diagram we use arrows like in the picture to the right to show what direction the force is acting on the object. In the image, the sled has four different arrows representing four different forces acting on the sled. We as builders can use these diagrams to double check that the object is balanced equally with the amount of the forces. Having taken Physics learning about equilibrium and free body diagrams can seem like a piece of cake!
Lastly, one of the new things we learned recently was Summation of Forces in Static Equilibrium. In this set of notes our engineering class learned how to find the forces in a free body diagram of a situation. We used this symbol, ∑ that means summation or net. With this symbol we solved equations and also used Pythagorean theorem and trigonometry to find the amount of force acting on the situations! All of these calculations we can also make sure that the greenhouse is sturdy and won’t come crashing down! I am really excited for our greenhouse project and I hope you are just as excited as we are!