by Nicola Schofield

So, I passed a building site for Crossrail in London and I started puzzling about tower cranes. I looked around me in London and there are SO many cranes – often building huge skyscrapers. How did they even get the cranes into place on the building sites?

This is a tower crane and here are the questions I have about tower cranes in particular:

What’s their purpose?
Where are they used?
Why don’t they fall over?
How much weight can they lift?
What couldn’t we do without them?
How do they work? (takes you to a web site which may contain unsuitable links, be warned – “Think before you click”)
How do they get on site?
Who controls them? where from?
How were tall building built before cranes? What are the alternatives? What’s the benefit of a crane?
What other types of cranes are there? Next time you are out & about, why not look out for different types of cranes and take some photos for this blog?
Which birds/ animals look or move like a crane? Why? How do they get food?
PS If you are interested in Crossrail and how they made the tunnels under London you can watch the BBC documentaries here – it’s fascinating!

Can you:

Draw a crane
Design a crane
Make a crane in Lego/ Meccano/ wood etc
Test your crane & modify/ stabilise it
How much weight can your crane lift?
In school, we will be using Phil Bagge’s Human Crane activities to start thinking like a computer-controlled crane! We will develop practical algorithms and look for patterns that can be turned into procedures and repeat instructions. We will then develop these ideas using a Logo program.

Can you program a tower crane or a grab machine game? You could just write an algorithm or you could have a go in Scratch 2.0 eg



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