Will It Collapse?

Scripture: Judges 13-15

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn God expects parents to prepare their children for serving Him.
  • Students will learn when we focus on what we want – like money and power – instead of what God wants for us, it often leads to sin and consequences.
  • Students will learn God expects us to practice self-control in how we live our lives.
  • Students will learn how weight distribution keeps a cylinder from collapsing.

Guiding Question: Why is it important to focus on what God wants for us? How does weight distribution affect the strength of columns made in various shapes?

Materials: 3 sheets of paper per student (or partners/group, your choice)

Procedure: Review the story of Samson from the scripture above. Emphasize the importance of practicing self-control and focusing on what God wants for our lives. Explain that some of the earthly desires we may have do not line up with what God knows is best for us. Remind the students that at the end of the story, Samson collapses the building by pulling on the columns. Tell the students there are some types of columns that are easier to collapse than others and they are going to get to figure out why.

Give each students (or partner/group) three sheets of paper. Have them make three different kinds of columns – one in the shape of a cylinder, one a triangle, and one a square. When they are finished, test the weight of each column by having the students placea small lightweight book on top of each column. The cylinder column should hold the most weight. (add more items on top if needed). Ask the students why they think the cylinder is the strongest.

Explain that a cylinder has no edges so the weight that is on top is not distributed to edges and corners like the square and triangle. Weight distributed to those places make it easier for the column to collapse. With weight then distributed more evenly over the cylinder shape, the column can hold more weight before collapsing. This is why many columns you may see are in the shape of a cylinder.

Additional Questions: How can fragile items still carry weight well?

Supplemental Activity: Have each student crack 4 eggs and then tape the egg shells back together around the middle with clear tape. Allow the students to arrange the eggs however best they think weight would be distributed. Test their arrangement by stacking clipboards on top of their egg shells.

Reference: http://highhillhomeschool.blogspot.com/2014/10/brunelleschis-dome-weight-distribution.html

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