So, I passed a building site for Crossrail in London and I started puzzling about tower cranes. I looked around me in London and there are SO many cranes – often building huge skyscrapers. How did they even get the cranes into place on the building sites?
This is a tower crane and here are the questions I have about tower cranes in particular:
- What’s their purpose?
- Where are they used?
- Why don’t they fall over?
- How much weight can they lift?
- What couldn’t we do without them?
- How do they work? (takes you to a web site which may contain unsuitable links, be warned – “Think before you click”)
- How do they get on site?
- Who controls them? where from?
- How were tall building built before cranes? What are the alternatives? What’s the benefit of a crane?
- What other types of cranes are there? Next time you are out & about, why not look out for different types of cranes and take some photos for this blog?
- Which birds/ animals look or move like a crane? Why? How do they get food?
PS If you are interested in Crossrail and how they made the tunnels under London you can watch the BBC documentaries here – it’s fascinating!
- Draw a crane
- Design a crane
- Make a crane in Lego/ Meccano/ wood etc
- Test your crane & modify/ stabilise it
- How much weight can your crane lift?
In school, we will be using Phil Bagge’s Human Crane activities to start thinking like a computer-controlled crane! We will develop practical algorithms and look for patterns that can be turned into procedures and repeat instructions. We will then develop these ideas using a Logo program.
Can you program a tower crane or a grab machine game? You could just write an algorithm or you could have a go in Scratch 2.0 eg http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/2520260/
What do you think these cranes are for? Can you find out more? What questions do you have?