Gangway for the bulldozer! This week Early Engineers learned about solar power and modular design by building these excellent earth movers.
A bulldozer is a powerful tractor used for pushing earth or rocks. The bulldozer has a blade or plate attached to the front that can be lifted up and down. This blade can be lowered below the ground for digging, held above ground for moving things, or held at surface level for spreading dirt or leveling the ground. Bulldozers are designed to be equipped with a large variety of different tool attachments, including rippers, grippers, forks, lifts, etc. This makes bulldozers very modular, capable of accomplishing a large variety of tasks.
Modular design is a design approach that breaks up a tool (such as a bulldozer) into smaller parts that can be made independently from the main tool. By doing this, construction workers can buy a bulldozer that can accomplish hundreds of tasks without having to buy hundreds of bulldozers. Instead, they can buy one body and then whatever attachments they need.
Our Engineers had a marvelous time attaching different blades and construction implements to the fronts of their bulldozers. We saw all kinds of wild extensions on student vehicles, and enjoyed watching them race outside our classrooms using energy from their solar powered motors! We hope your little builder enjoyed this exploration of modular design. Join us again next time for an exciting crash test experiment!