Stickin' Up for
Today's Snack: The skin
of a baked potato is the "structure" for a snack! Since we're studying
structures, it's fitting that we try a Mexican
Potato. First, scrub a medium baking potato under running water. Poke
it with a fork a few times. Put it on a plate and microwave it on high for
seven or eight minutes. Poke the fork in again; it should slide in and out
easily. If not, put it back in for another couple of minutes. When it has
cooled a little, slice it in half and save the top half for tomorrow's snack.
Mash the other half around, inside its structure, the potato skin. Now top it
with two tablespoons of salsa. You can sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on
top, too. Eat the whole thing, skin and all!
Paper and pencil
Cardboard or plywood
for a base
is the way that the parts of anything that's built come together to take form.
Structure is what gives shape and organization to things. There are structures
all over our world.
skeleton is the structure for your body.
way a football team lines up around the ball - where everybody stands -- is its
offensive or defensive structure for that play.
classroom rules give you structure for proper behavior: don't talk while the
teacher's talking, don't chew gum, and if you forget your assignment notebook
you'll have to stay in from recess. You can probably add many more rules that
add to that structure.
A tall, sturdy stem is the
structure that supports a flower, and makes the flower attractive and available
to insects flying by.
different kinds of music come in different kinds of structures: a hip-hop song
has a certain kind of rhythm that makes it different from a polka or a jazz
improvisational piece, while a symphony usually has three completely different
movements. You can't see those structures, but they are certainly there, and
"shape" the way the music sounds.
music is made up of the same notes that we can hear. But it is the different
structures within which those notes sound that can make different pieces of
music so vastly different.
helps us understand the past in many ways. Geology, the study of rocks and the
Earth, consists of scientists looking at a lot of structures to understand how
mountains were formed, how pools of oil were collected, and so on. The more we
understand how the structures came together, the more we can understand how to
use our natural resources wisely, and maintain the beauty of the Earth.
in science, the structure of molecules reveals how atoms come together and you
can understand different substances.
in another example, your set of friends is your social structure - within that
circle is where you hang out, have fun and feel comfortable.
to be realistic, when most people think of the word "structure," they think of
you thinking of even more structures? There are many, many, and structures have
different functions within them, that make them more useful to people. There
are quite a few things to think about when you consider the design of a
course, you want a structure to be strong so that it'll stay standing.
you want it to fulfill its purpose, so it has to be planned out, and built, to
do the things that it was meant to do. For example, you wouldn't design a movie
theatre with the seats facing away from the screen instead of toward it. That
wouldn't be a successful structure for the purpose of the building, which is to
we've all built with toy blocks, and that's fun. We "build as you go." We don't
plan anything out.
in the grown-up world, we can't do that. We have to plan!
instance, the taller the structure is going to be, the heavier it will be, and
the more likely it might topple unless it is supported. A key way to support a
building is to have a deep, strong foundation.
at nature: the tallest plants, like trees and prairie grasses, have the deepest
and widest root systems. That's to anchor them in place, in case of high winds
and so forth.
with structures, the heavier the material that you use for the roof, the more
vertical columns there have to be, to hold up that heavy roof.
more weight, from walls and roof, that the joints and corners have to hold up,
the stronger they have to be.
if you need the inside of a building to stay cool, you'd better watch out on
including too many windows. How many indoor ice skating rinks have large
picture windows and skylights? Not many, because that sunlight will pour in and
warm up the air, making it more expensive to keep the ice frozen.
So there's a lot to think
about, with structures. But the main rule, architects say, is this one:
means when you plan a building, you should think hard about how it is going to
be used - how people will interact with it, and make things in it, or do
now it's time for you to think about a structure that you would like to plan,
and then build with craft sticks and such.
will be its function? Its purpose? What it's for?
can be silly and creative - you don't have to design and build a structure that
you really think might be built, in real life. Then again, look at your supply
of craft sticks, and figure out that you might not have enough to build a
30-story skyscraper. So try to match your plan to the supplies you have on
out your structure, give it a name, list its purpose or how it'll be used. Go
ahead and erase and re-draw until you are happy with your sketch.
build it, on a sturdy base . . . and show it off to friends within the "structure"
of a party!