I handed each kid a piece of graph paper, and told them to draw their idea of what a bike rack would need to be like for our bikes. Surprisingly, they all had very similar ideas. Pipes running more or less vertically, with a triangle behind to support the rack. Then we sat down and I drew a picture that drew from all of their ideas to put it together into a whole. I then told the boys that, before we went to actual design, we needed to list which informatoin we needed. Here's what they came up with. Not bad, huh?
Then came the story problem: How big to make the pieces. With a little guidance, a
nd a calculator, we worked through it together to calculate lengths for all the pieces, and then to make a cutting list.
Then came the fun - we cut the pipes and began assembly together. Every boy got a repetetive task, assembling one step of the rack. The finished rack worked so AWESOMELY! Talk about a sweet DIY Bike Rack! And the best part - it was a blast with the boys. I'm sure Isaac will have more breakdowns about story problems, and math may not actually become fun for my boys, but this was. I love being a dad. Oh, and engineers rule! Muahahahaaaaa