Quest for Education and Arts
Provides unique and experiential education opportunities through collaboration with community experts and use of emerging technology to offer the best possible training for every student.


Quest Engineering 2016-2017
Taught by Ms. Leigh (or Mrs. Elkins if your parents prefer)
TA: David Elkins (
Wednesdays 1:15 – 2:45 – last room down hall on right-hand side of building

Supplies needed for class each week:

  • Pencil
  • calculator
  • paper/graph paper
  • ruler (needs to have cm)
  • class papers printed from the Quest website under Student Zone/Wednesday Classes/Engineering

We will be learning about simple machines, structures, electricity, air and water, and complete our class year with a huge, fun challenge.

Materials Collection Request 

Mandatory General Student Orientation

Mandatory MS/HS Orientation

EngradePro Link

Extra Credit Opportunity

  • Read Michael O. Tunnell’s book Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” and turn in a paragraph summary of the book.
  • Read Linda Sue Park’s book Kite Fighters and turn in a paragraph summary of the book.
  • You may do one or both, and I will give you 25 points extra credit for each one.

April 26

Our Bigger, Better Obstacle Courses are coming along. Read over the rules one more time, and let your brain think on what you are building and how you can improve it.

This is your last chance to turn in any missing assignments or extra credit. Check your grades on Engrade to see what you have missing!

April 19

We created obstacle courses for marbles. Next week, turn in your "Obstacle Course, Of Course" papers.

Here is what is coming up:

    Work with your assigned group (we will combine for just 2 projects) to design a BIGGER, BETTER OBSTACLE COURSE. You may use whatever materials you like, as long as you do not purchase anything new. All materials must be recycled from other sources. Keep in mind that the only time you touch the obstacle course can be to initiate the sequence of actions. The longer the marble takes to move through the obstacle course, the better. The rules are:

  • All motion of the object must be created indirectly, through changing the position, velocity, or acceleration of the course. No one may touch the object once it has been set in motion.
  • Once your object is in the "starting block," it can receive no outside assistance.
  • The object may not leave the course at any time.
  • The obstacle course must be portable (multiple people may carry the course, but it will need to be moveable). We will be moving it to the Fine Arts Festival for display.
  • You may make a motorized control system, but you may not purchase one.
  • The course must be safe for users and spectators.
  • You will have 10 minutes on the day of the competition to set up and perform the obstacle course.
  • You may have as many attempts to operate the course successfully as you like within 10 minutes.
  • Adults or older students may NOT complete any component of the design or construction or the course.

The obstacle course will be scored according to the following guidelines:

  • Each action earns 5 points.
  • Each mechanical concept earns 5 points.
  • Each second that the object is in motion, from beginning to end, earns 1 point.
  • Each unique idea that no other team has used will earn 5 points.
  • You will grade each other on teamwork in building the obstacle course.
  • Any other point guidelines and grading criteria set by the teacher apply.

You will have the next full class and 1/2 of the following class to build the BIGGER, BETTER OBSTACLE COURSE, then the competition begins!


Today we built rafts. Two of the four floated, and one held 90 pennies before sinking. 

This weeks homework:

Thursday (4/13) & Friday (4/14)

  • Finish all questions on "Craft a Raft" if you haven't already.

Monday (4/17) & Tuesday (4/18) 

For Class on Wednesday (4/19)


Today we built windmills and most of them were able to turn. 

This weeks homework:

  • For Class on Wednesday (3/29)
    • Turn in your WebQuest answers
    • Print "Craft a Raft," read it, and answer Questions 1-10.


Today we built kites. If you are interested in kites read Linda Sue Park’s book Kite Fighters.

This weeks homework:
Thursday (3/30) & Friday (3/31)

  • Finish all questions on Kite for a Windy Day if you haven't already.

Monday (4/3) & Tuesday (4/4) & For Class on Wednesday (3/29)

This came in my e-mail just today. Enjoy!


Today we built and dropped parachutes. If you are interested in parachutes read Michael O. Tunnell’s Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot.”

This weeks homework:
Thursday (3/23) & Friday (3/24)

  • Finish all questions on Parachute Express. Add Question 8. What did you change about your parachute? How did the new time compare with your original first drop? 
  • Visit NOVA’s Mars exploration rover mission site and complete the interactive lesson. You will design a parachute to help the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity touch down safely on the red planet. If you can print our your results (print screen to paint then print the page) that would be great to show me you succeeded.

Monday (3/27) & Tuesday (3/28) & For Class on Wednesday (3/29)

  • Print Kite for a Windy Day and answer Questions 1-6. I want to give you more time on this challenge than the suggested time.


Today we played with paper airplanes

This weeks homework:
Thursday (3/16) & Friday (3/17)

  • Finish all questions on The Good Old-Fashioned Paper Airplane. Question 6: The furthest distance traveled by an airplane in today's challenge was 672 inches. 
  • Finish all questions on Stealthy Design to turn in next week.

Monday (3/20) & Tuesday (3/21)

  • Choose an airplane of rocket such as the Thunderbolt, Blue Angel, Thunderbird, Saturn Rocket, F-15, or one of your own choosing and research it. Write 1 paragraph about your chosen aircraft answering such questions as:
    • What is the length and weight?
    • When was the flier first built?
    • What was it used for?
    • Is it still used today?
    • Who flies it?
    • How much did/does it cost?
    • What was innovative about it?
  • See if you can make a paper airplane that will go further than the furthest in class.

For Class on Wednesday (3/22)


Today we played with helicopters

This weeks homework:
Thursday (3/9) & Friday (3/10)

Monday (3/13) & Tuesday (3/14)


Today we began talking about Air and flying things.

This weeks homework:
Thursday (3/2) & Friday (3/3)

  • Take the quiz on Engrade

Monday (3/6) & Tuesday (3/7)


Today we finished "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" 

This weeks homework:
Thursday (2/16) & Friday (2/17)

  • Complete "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" – if you didn’t already

    Research famous baseball pitchers to find the fastest pitch in miles per hour in recorded baseball history. Use this information to calculate the speed of this pitch in feet per minute and feet per second. 

    Consider this problem: One of the fastest pitches recorded was Nolan Ryan’s 100.9 mph on August 20, 1974. The distance between home plate and the pitcher’s mound is 60ft, 6in. How long did it take the baseball to travel from the mound to the plate?

    How far would the baseball travel in 1 hour?

Monday (2/13) & Tuesday (2/14)

  • We will be starting a new unit on air flow and flying things. Check out this exciting opportunity if you are 14 or younger: Check out the site, watch some videos, and register if you are interested.

For class Wednesday (2/8)

  • Turn in "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" 
  • Nothing to print for today


Today we finished "The Amazing Trampoline Act" 

This weeks homework:
Thursday (2/9) & Friday (2/10)

  • Complete "The Amazing Trampoline Act" – if you didn’t already

Monday (2/13) & Tuesday (2/14)

  • Try to work through the first 2 pages of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” If you don’t understand it all, don’t worry, we’ll go over it in class, but if you do some on your own, we can have more time for the challenge.

For class Wednesday (2/8)


Today we finished learned about Slope and collected our data for "Cow-A-Bungee" 

This weeks homework:
Thursday (2/2) & Friday (2/3)

  • Print and complete Slope Homework 
  • Complete "Cow-A-Bungee" - including graphing your points on graph paper

Monday (1/30) & Tuesday (1/31)

  • Experiment on stress of elastic limit. Stress is an applied force that causes a material to be deformed (bent out of shape). Elastic materials are able to return to their original shape after being deformed, but even a rubber band has an elastic limit. If the rubber band is stretched too much, it doesn’t return to its original shape. The elastic limit of a material is the maximum force on a material that results in the material returning to its original shape after the force is removed. Any stress less than the elastic limit will result in the material returning to its original shape. Any stress greater than the elastic limit will result in the material not returning to its original shape. Study the effects of the elastic limit on different-sized rubber bands, balloons, gummy worms, and other elastic items. Using a ruler, record the length of the object before the stress was applied, at its furthest stretch mark, and what it returns to after the stress is removed. Experiment with five objects and record your results.

For class Wednesday (2/8)


Today we finished "Inclined Plane Investigation" 

This weeks homework:
Thursday (1/26) & Friday (1/27)

  • Complete "Inclined Plane Investigation" - particularly the efficiency calculations and the last page.

Monday (1/30) & Tuesday (1/31)

For class Wednesday (2/1)


Today we finished "It's All Downhill from Here." Here is the data:
            Diameter Does it roll? time 1 time 2 time3 time 4

Green   5 inches  yes             1.97 sec1.97 sec1.97 sec1.97 sec

Blue     6 inches  once           2.59 sec1.87 sec2.50 sec1.96 sec

Red      5.5 inches once         5.85 sec3.15 sec2.81 sec3.22 sec

Orange 5.25inches 2nd half   1.91 sec2.16 sec1.81 sec1.65 sec

and we began Inclined Plane Investigation

This weeks homework:
Thursday (1/19) & Friday (1/20)

  • Complete "It's All Downhill from Here"

Monday (1/23) & Tuesday (1/24)

For class Wednesday (1/25)

Today we went over "It's So Simple Machines" and began "It's All Downhill from Here"

This weeks homework:
Thursday (1/12) & Friday (1/13)


  • Complete "It's So Simple Machines"


Monday (1/16) & Tuesday (1/17)

For class Wednesday (1/18)

Happy New Year!

Please print *Its So Simple Machines* and *Its All Downhill from Here* for class this week.

Dec 14

Merry Christmas!

Dec 7
Today we learned about the wheel and axle using our favorite: Legos!

Take the quiz on Engrade about the wheel and axle after you have read over your notes from class.

Next Wednesday is your last chance to turn in any assignment from this semester. I will close the grades in one week. Now's your chance to pull them up!

Nov 30
Today we learned about levers.

  • Complete to turn in the worksheet from class on levers
    • Mechanical Advantage = Load (Output) ÷ Force (Input)
  • Take Levers Quiz on Engrade

Nov 16
Today we learned about conductors and insulators and static electricity.

Nov 9
Today we played more with electrical circuits and learned how to draw circuit diagrams.

Nov 2
Today we started learning about and playing with electrical circuits.

We will do Activity sheet 5 next week.

Oct 26
Today we built castle walls and tried to knock them down with battering rams. Thank you for your suggestions on how to make this activity better.


Oct 19
Today we built Skyscrapers from sugar cubes and made earthquakes to see how they fall. We also figured out some puzzles.

Homework (suggested schedule for week):
Thursday 10/20 & Friday 10/21 - Check your grade on EngradePro and complete a missing assignment to turn in next week.

Monday 10/24 - Complete one more missing assignment to turn in

Tuesday 10/25 - Read about Battering Rams ( and take the short quiz on EngradePro

For Class Wednesday 10/26 -

Oct 12
Today we built Skyscrapers to hold pennies and golf balls.

Homework (suggested schedule for week):
Thursday 10/13 - Finish any incomplete section of Scrapers in the Sky to turn in next week 

Friday 10/14 - Read this article carefully then take the quiz about it on EngradePro

Monday 10/17 - Skyscraper Challenge. Take on the role of an engineer at Ace Forensic Engineering Lab by visiting Your job is to investigate skyscraper emergencies and then solve the problems that caused those emergencies. Make a chart to turn in which has the 3 locations and two answers to each location listed.

Tuesday 10/18 - Learn about the different forces that affect skyscrapers by visiting After the lesson, investigate forces in the site's interactive lab that simplifies the real-life forces that affect structures ( Then take the Loads and Forces quiz on EngradePro.

For Class Wednesday 10/19 -

  • Turn in Scrapers in the Sky 
  • Turn in your Skyscraper Challenge Chart
  • There is nothing to print this week, but be sure and bring paper and pens or pencils to write down the results of what we do.

Oct 5
Today we built bridges to hold pennies over a 2 foot span.

Homework (suggested schedule for week):

Thursday 10/6 - 


Friday 10/7 - After reading your notes page from class take Bridges Quiz on EngradePro

Monday 10/10 - Read this page ( about Skyscrapers and compare the tallest building when this was written to the tallest building today which can be found here ( Write a sentence about what you find out.

Tuesday 10/11 - Just for the fun of it. Here is a skyscraper game (, but it can take a while to playCheck with your parents first! Can you beat my population of 5892 people? 

For Class Wednesday -




Sept 28
Today we built catapults and shot pennies through a hula hoop

Homework (suggested schedule for week):

Thursday 9/29 - Finish any incomplete section of Catapult to the Front of the Line to turn in next week (Each team went about 1-1/2 feet, one team went 3 feet but didn't have a release mechanism)

Friday 9/30 - 

Monday 10/3 - Visit and and contrast the different levers: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Create a chart to show the lever, load, fulcrum, and effort of each type. Include drawings.

Tuesday 9/27 - Read and write a paragraph from this webpage:

For Class Wednesday -

  • Turn in Catapult to the Front of the Line, your levers chart, and bridge basics paragraph
  • Print out Building Bridges (there are 5 pages, make sure you have them all!)

Sept 21
Today we talked about Work and worked on Will It Go Round in Circles

Homework (suggested schedule for week):

Thursday 9/22 - Take Work Quiz on EngradePro

Friday 9/23 - Finish any incomplete section of Will It Go Round in Circles to turn in next week

Monday 9/26 - 

  • Circle tool: Investigate the relationships of area and circumference of a circle compared to its radius and diameter. Make a table with 5 radii (plural of radius) and 5 diameters and write those down with the corresponding circumferences.
  • Computing pi: Explore how Archimedes approximated pi by using polygons and calculating perimeters. Read the paragraph at the top of the page and play around with the "n=" slider bar. Make a table with 5 values of "n" and write down n, area, and circumference

Tuesday 9/27 - Linking Circles to Cylinders: The volume of a cylinder is calculated by multiplying the area of the circle base of a cylinder by the height of the cylinder V=pi(r2)h. Gather various cylindrical objects, such as cans, and record the diameter of the top of each cylindrical object. Use this information to find, for each object, the radius of the circular base, the area of the circular base (pi(r2)), the height of the cylinder, and the volume for the cylinder. Make a table containing this information.

For Class Wednesday -

Sept 14
Today we witnessed real-life problem solving in Apollo 13 and tried solving our own problem with the ball and pipe.


  • Finish filling out your worksheet on the ball and pipe to turn in next week.
  • Take Problem Solving Quiz on EngradePro
  • Work on the two additional puzzles Puzzles.pdf
  • Nine Dots: Draw only 4 straight lines through all nine dots without lifting pencil from paper
  • Barn: Draw the barn I showed you in class without lifting pencil from paper and without crossing lines
  • Please read this ARTICLE be ready to tell one interesting fact from it.

Please bring a calculator to class this week

Due Sep 14

  • Print pipeandball.pdf 
  • Bring in materials from Materials Collection Request (located above)