THE LONG NOW
PROJECT
PROJECT DESCRIPTION
A year and a half in the making, this kinematic cube created by the 9th grade Strong/Swaaley team of High Tech High tells a story about a civilization that goes through the stages of the rise and fall of a civilization. Each panel represents one of the four stages:

Coming together

Social Construction

The Dilemma

Social Dissolution
The Physics classes from the school years of 20142015 and 20152016, created, designed and built the cube. In 20152016, Math class integrated into the team in order to learn math through the project.
PROJECT EXHIBITION
MATH INTEGRATION
Math class became integrated to help explore and model the equations that define the...

gear ratios of both the winding mechanism

the planetary gears on top of the cube

angular acceleration of the cube

angle and time between stops

the number of rotations

and more
Below are the equations we used to predict the movement of 800 pounds of wood and steel.
STUDENT WORK
Our students used the online graphing tool Desmos and isolated inputs and documented how the change in inputs affected or didn't affect the following our outputs. Students applied their learning of functions to model inputs and outputs.
These were our inputs:

Mass of weights

Vertical travel of weights

Compound pulley purchase

Drive pulley radius

Planetary Gearset Reduction

Moment of Inertia

Radius of Flying Pendulum Arm

Length of Pendulum Rope
Students modeled how to achieve a particular output. In the image below, our desired output was the number of rotations to equal 2.
The image below represents the function for the number of rotations when mass = 8 kg.
The image below represents the function for the number of rotations when mass = 140 kg.
As students observed, the line didn't move off of 2 rotations.
They concluded that the mass of the weights did not affect the number of rotations.
Students were also tasked to find out what inputs would yield specific outputs. For example, if we wanted to time between stops to be 5 seconds instead of 2 seconds, students explored various inputs that would make that happen.
These were our 5 desired outputs.

Number of rotations

Angle and time between stops

Final angular velocity of the cube

Tangential velocity of the ball

Horizontal deflection of the ball
Below you will see student results of the desired outputs and what values of the inputs could make that happen.