Most people across the globe suffer from Monday morning blues or the Monday syndrome. They simply do not like going back to work or school after the weekend. However, for the students of class 5, Monday seems to be the best day of the week, because they look forward to their robotics classes right after the weekend. This Monday was even more fun as it brought with it a new challenge, when they were asked to construct a ‘shape amplifying stencil.’
Before starting the session, their robotics teacher, Ms. Joshi showed various items, such as doors, windows, pencil boxes, pyramids etc. and asked the children to guess the shapes. She called the students to draw various shapes on the whiteboard, which made them realize that we use different tools like a compass, or a scale etc. to draw these shapes. Next, the students were made to draw various shapes and letters of the alphabet in their notebooks. They drew small shapes in the notebooks. Now the teacher then challenged them to think of a way in which these small shapes could be drawn into large, life- sized shapes, such as those used by people in various industrial units.
We all have seen the big posters, big advertising banners, and hoardings around us. How are they made? How is a huge circle with a large radius drawn? What if they were asked to draw such a shape on a really large scale? How will they draw it? These were the questions which were thrown at the students and made them think.
Can you think of the answer? Well, the answer is that we need a machine to draw or plot objects on a large scale or size. This machine is called a pantograph- a drawing instrument that magnifies figures. A pantograph plots a magnified figure by enlarging the original figure drawn on a paper through a special mechanical linkage which traces the movement of one pen and simultaneously produces an identical but enlarged movement in a second pen. Hence, if a line drawing is traced by the first point, an identical but enlarged copy will be drawn by a pen fixed on the other end. And a pantograph is what the class designed after understanding the concepts employed by the device.
It took almost one hour for children to assemble the parts of a pantograph. Finally, the four groups, in which the class had been divided, were ready with to test their pantographs. The students were very excited and tested their device on big sheets of paper. And yes, once again, they did it successfully.