Xtend the Learning



    What’s the next big thing in personal transportation? Encourage your class to imagine a new way to travel, and have them write and design promotional ads introducing this new means of travel to the world. The challenge is to come up with an advertising campaign that would emphasize the safety engineering that went into designing the new product and create ads aimed at kids and parents to share.


    Many manufacturers are now creating hoverboards that pass mechanical, environmental, and electrical tests, but that doesn’t mean kids will use safe behaviors all the time. Kids are riding hoverboards on streets and sidewalks that weren’t designed for them. In fact, few places have guidelines on safe usage. That’s where you come in! Design a Public Service campaign that highlights the safe use of hoverboards in cities around the world.

  • The Fire Triangle

    Using a candle, students conduct four experiments to limit one of each side of the fire triangle – oxygen, fuel, and heat - to understand the needs of fire. Then, using a metal screen, students look at a candle flame to observe combustion.

  • Heat Transfer & Ignition

    Students make observations about how thermal energy is transferred and how transferred heat starts fires. Students compare the surface to mass ratio of a block of wood and a toothpick, then compare how easily they ignite. Students then make observations about how different materials ignite and burn.

  • Fire Lab Data Analysis

    Using the data from two burns in the fire science lab, students will make conclusions about the impact of ventilation on a fire. Students will present their ideas about why this understanding is critical for both firefighters and the women and men investigating the fire’s origin and cause.

  • The Bologna Test

    In small groups, students will place a piece of bologna on a noncombustible surface. They will place one dropper full of saline in the center of the meat slice, then place a button cell lithium-ion battery in the pool of saline on the bologna. Using a timer, they will observe what happens each minute for 10 minutes.

  • Tensile Test & Durability

    What types of testing do safety engineers put materials through? One type of testing is tensile performance – the resistance of a material to breaking under tension. But it’s not just the strength of the material that matters, the design is also important. The design of the shape needs to protect the battery pack (and other components, but for this lab, we’ll focus on the batteries) and keep the unavoidable battery pack heat from harming the user. Will the design shape stand up to the can of soup (represents the relative weight of a hoverboard passenger)?

  • Thermal Test

    Safety Engineers follow a set of standards when evaluating products and components for safety. Standards are rigorous requirements that determine performance, may establish size or shape or capacity of a product, process, or system. As examples, standards help ensure the same size screw can be purchased anywhere in the world, that a light bulb bought at any store fits a socket in anyone's home, and plugs for electrical appliances fit outlets. With standards, our homes, workplaces, and public buildings are safer from collapse, fire, and explosion. In this Investigation student groups will use their hoverboard enclosure with the battery pack installed as it was designed in Investigation 2 to determine if the heat transmission through the enclosure, as well as the heat generated inside the enclosure, meet safety standard requirements for thermal performance.