Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is this fence weaker than it was last year? (STEM is everywhere)

I was driving from Dressel to Sappington and back again today. I happened to glance over at the Grant's Farm fence and noticed a bit of rust on it. As I drove I saw lots of rust running on the chain link running from one end of the property to the other.

It reminded me a lot of the USS Fredrick. I lived on the Fast Freddy for six long months. What was that like you ask? Kinda like living in your classroom for six months only not as nice. While on ship I noticed the Navy was constantly scraping and painting to stop the always advancing rust. Rust that was slowly eating away any metal surface.
USS Fredrick, LST 1184 Mombasa,Kenya

This metal eating rust has me worried about the fence. It also make me think about the wonderful STEM connections I saw. Here are the questions I started coming up with as I drove by the farm. They are random, maybe impossible but they all could start a conversation. Some I know the answer to and some I may never know. 
  • How much strength is lost when the fence rusts?
  • What might be some ways to remove the rust?
  • Are the animals so used to staying within the farm that the fence isn't even needed anymore?
  • What would it cost to replace the fence?
  • Are there metals that don't rust?
  • How can we build an invisible fence that doesn't involve electricity? Could it be a force field?
  • Could the fence, new or old, withstand a charging buffalo? 
Many of these questions could be STEMified. They might not be a clear answer but by posing such questions, or wonderings, we can help our kids think beyond what is right in front of our faces. 

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