Have you ever wondered how bicycles work? You can use the resources on this student esheet to help you explore the nature of systems by examining the systems that make a bicycle work. Use those resources to help you answer the questions on the Bicycle as a System student sheet.
Begin by going to Bicycle Heroes. As you read this article, answer these questions on your Bicycle as a System student sheet. You'll discuss them in class:
- How do the early bicycles differ from bicycles made today?
- What accounted for the popularity of bicycles when they were first invented in the late 1800s?
- What accounts for the popularity of bicycles today?
- Identify the various parts of the bicycle.
- What does each part do? Describe some of the properties of these parts.
- What is the purpose of a bicycle system?
You should work with your group to explore the parts of a bicycle and how bicycle systems work. You should go to the Science of Cycling and select one subsystem of a bike. You should review your section and describe the subsystem and the parts that make a bicycle work. Use the information you find to answer these questions on your student sheet:
- Describe the subsystem that your group researched. What is its function within the bicycle system?
- Complete the table on your student sheet to indicate how the subsystem affects the bicycle’s speed, safety, comfort, and durability.
Complete the second table to identify the following:
- Name the parts of the bicycle’s subsystem. If you don’t know the name of a part, make up a name.
- Tell what function each part has and how it contributes to the subsystem.
- For the bicycle subsystem to work, what input must it receive?
- What, if any output does the subsystem produce?
- Could any part of this bicycle be made of a different material and still help the bicycle carry out its function?
- Can any one part of the bicycle carry out the job of the whole bicycle? Explain your answer.
- Can you take a part from another bicycle and use it to replace a part in this bicycle and still have the bicycle carry out its function?
- Could some parts of the bicycle be arranged differently so that the system will still carry out its function? Explain your answer.
- Does the bicycle require symmetry among any of its parts? If so, describe the symmetry.
- What will happen to the bicycle if one part, such as a spoke, breaks? What if all the spokes on a wheel break?
- Is it useful to think of a bicycle as a system? Justify your answer.
This esheet is a part of the The Bicycle as a System lesson.