Toy dissection

Toy Dissection

Thursday January 18, 2018

Part 1

  1. Form groups of 3 to 4 people. Join a group of people whom you don’t know already and who are as different from you as possible. (You will have to talk to other people to figure this out.)
  2. Each group should pick a toy. Together the group should play with the toy and figure out how it works and what is inside it.
  3. The group must draw a diagram of what they (collectively) think is inside the toy and write a description of how it works. You may include alternate possibilities if you cannot determine definitively how the toy works.
  4. Fill out the first toy dissection form.

Part 2

  1. The second shiest person in the group must demonstrate the toy and explain the internal mechanisms to the rest of the class. You may draw on the blackboard if necessary. Turn in the first form.
  2. Take your toy apart. (You will have to share the screwdrivers — I don’t have enough of the small ones.) If your toy has a windup mechanism, and if your toy can be re-assembled, DO NOT take the windup mechanism apart. If you have to destroy the toy to open it, you may take the windup mechanism apart and figure out how it works too.
  3. Figure out how the toy really works and make corrections and annotations to your original drawing.
  4. Fill out the second toy dissection form.
  5. The least shy person in the group must explain to the rest of the class how the toy really works. You should discuss what surprised you and what was exactly as you had expected.
  6. With the whole class, discuss the similarities and differences between the toys, particularly with respect to shared components or alternative mechanisms for achieving the same function. Turn in the second form.
  7. If your toy can be re-assembled, please put it back together. If not, just give me all the pieces.