Leonardo da Vinci: Engineer

"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes
turned skyward; for there you have been, there you long to return.
-- Leonardo da Vinci

bridge.jpg (1688 bytes)

If you think Leonardo da Vinci's most important work was primarily as an engineer, your final project will be a multimedia presentation that includes words, images and music supporting your view.  You will show his work as an engineer, looking for examples of some of the following innovations:

  • flying machines
  • parachutes
  • submarines
  • underwater breathing devices
  • self floatation/ocean rescue devices
  • swimming fins
  • pumping mechanisms
  • water turbines
  • robots
  • swing bridges
  • canals
  • leveling/surveying instruments
  • cranes
  • pulley systems
  • street-lighting systems
  • convection roasting spit
  • mechanical saw
  • bicycles
  • dredging systems
  • steam calorimeters
  • water-well drill
  • military weapons
  • treadle-operated lathe
  • compasses
  • contact lenses
  • ideal city

Source: Walter J. Freeman Neurophysiology Lab, University of California at Berkeley

If you have a particular interest in one of these areas of technology, feel free to explore it more in depth.  Keep in mind the following questions as you do your research and collect your images:

1.  What is an engineer?  What types of knowledge must an engineer have?
2.  What were Leonardo's greatest engineering innovations?  What types of technology interested him the most? 
3.  What kind of building materials were available to Leonardo da Vinci?  How did that influence the design and success of his endeavors?
4.  How did Leonardo's innovative spirit fit in with his time?   What was the Renaissance?  
5.  Who sponsored Leonardo da Vinci's engineering experiments, and what did they hope to gain from his knowledge? 
6.  Are Leonardo's designs still useful today?  What have you learned from Leonardo's engineering projects that could this help you with innovations of your own?

You may use the following web sites to complete your assignment:

The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything http://www.kidsnewsroom.org/elmer/infoCentral/frameset/inventors/davinci/

Renaissance Man http://www.mos.org/leonardo/inventor.html

Leonardo: Engineer http://www.engineering.com/content/ContentDisplay?contentId=41003018
Science and Engineering from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_de_Vinci#Science_and_engineering
Leonardo and the Engineers of the Renaissance http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/ingrin/

Leonardo's Adding Machine http://www.webcom.com/calc/leonardo/leonardo.html
Mechancal Calculator http://www.maxmon.com/1500ad.htm

Leonardo: Father of the Automobile? http://www.carbc.com/Car-News-856.html
da Vinci Invented the Car Forerunner http://www.smithhopen.com/News/news_briefs_display.asp?ID=392
da Vinci Sketched an Early Car http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1094767.htm

Leonardo Project http://www.vebjorn-sand.com/thebridge.htm
The da Vinci Bridge was Finally Built After 500 Years http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/tech/article.jsp?id=99991510&sub=Extra

Leonardo: The Ideal City http://www.museoscienza.org/IdealCity/default.htm

Science, Optics and You http://www.microscopy.fsu.edu/optics/timeline/people/davinci.html

Brain Behind the Best http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/B/buildingthebest/brains1.html

Codex Leicester http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/codex/topics.html

Leonardo and the Science in the Renaissance http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/codex/science.html

Leonardo and the Military http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~kuijt/dba169x/dba169x.html

Flight and Other Obsessions http://www.exn.ca/FlightDeck/News/story.cfm?ID=19970810-01
History of Flight http://www.flight100.org/history/davinci.html 
Wierdo Leonardo Machines http://www.stoke5399.freeserve.co.uk/leo/machines-robot.htm
Timeline http://www.thocp.net/timeline/1310.htm

Leonardo's Machines http://www.museoscienza.org/english/leonardo/default.htm
Machines http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/genscheda.asp?appl=LIR&xsl=slideshow&lingua=ENG&chiave=101000
Leonardo and His Machine  http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/

Leonardo's Study of Flight images http://members.tripod.com/~mr_sedivy/da_flight.html
Drawings http://www.visi.com/~reuteler/leonardo.html

Leonardo May Have Invented Plastic http://www.smithhopen.com/News/news_briefs_display.asp?ID=392

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