Reinventing the Wheel… Literally!
Burbank, CA (The Futures Channel) February 23, 2009: Whether it’s running marathons, taking photographs or writing novels, many of us dream of getting paid to work at our favorite hobbies. For Adam Marriott that dream is a reality.
“Really, it all stems from a love for bikes. I love riding. I started working in a bike shop in college… I’m now Product Manager for Easton Sports,” says Marriott.
Marriott is featured in Building and Testing Wheels, the latest movie released on TheFuturesChannel.com. It offers an inside look at what it takes to make strong, durable high-performance wheels at Easton Sports’ R&D facilities in Van Nuys, California. In the short documentary, Adam Marriott demonstrates an innovative technique using sound to ensure the wheels are true and explains that, “Mathematics plays a daily role in everything we do, whether it be production or the testing process or the actual design of the products.”
Viewers also meet Niko Henderson, a test lab engineer. He says that the key is testing the wheels to extremes—all on state-of-the-art, one-of-a kind machines. “Imagine a 280 lb rider riding for a 1000 kilometers on a bumpy road the whole way, in this case 4.4 million bumps,” Henderson explains in his interview. “We test the wheel like this in order to learn about the durability of the wheel.”
The Futures Channel is the leading producer and publisher of real-world documentaries about careers and applications of science, technology, engineering and math. From wildlife biologists to space architects and skateboard designers to robotics engineers, The Futures Channel’s movies show students places they might otherwise never see, fascinating professionals they might otherwise never meet, and careers they might not even know exist.
Amy Agramonte, a teacher from Georgia who screened Building and Testing Wheels, said the movie “hits the mark.”
“We discuss the ‘why’ we learn what we do every day. My students enjoy seeing that what we learn in the classroom is applicable later in life. Also, seeing a movie with real life uses of recent science standards (sound, force and friction) is very exciting,” said Agramonte. “Whenever I show Futures Channel movies, the discussion after the movie is an essential piece for my students.”
Greg Pearson is a senior program officer at the National Academy of Engineering and co-editor of Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology. “Building and Testing Wheels is an excellent illustration of how important technology is in our everyday lives and how science and mathematics knowledge combine with engineering design to produce useful products,” Pearson said. “Showing how science and mathematics are applied to solve real-world problems helps students see the relevance of these subjects to their own lives.”
The Futures Channel was founded in 1999 with the goal of “using New Media technologies to create a channel between the scientists, engineers, explorers and visionaries who are shaping the future, and today’s learners who will one day succeed them.” In the last 24 months, there have been over 18 million student views of Futures Channel movies during math and science classes.