Moving The Set: How My Father Used Applied Science (And Me) To Get The Job Done
—by Nathan on May 20, 2008—
It was a rainy, Monday night, and my dad was trying to move our swing set. He had moved it once before, out of the sun, now, he noticed that the set was sinking into the ground! Thus, it was lopsided. How could he move it when it was too heavy for the family's combined strength to lift and move and the fact it was stuck in the ground a bit? He had to do something. So, the genius of a man devised a plan of equal brilliance, using only four long, boards of wood and me, his son. This is how he did it: Sliding two pieces under one side of of the set, he put a longer board under the set on the other side on a slant. Then, he put the longest board against that to make sure the tilted wood wouldn't fall. What my father had so cleverly created was a simple machine, a lever to be exact. When I stood on the lever, that side of the set lifted out of the ground, allowing Dad to pull forward until the lever popped out. The planks my dad pulled the structure of wood, plastic, and nuts and bolts were smooth, giving off only a little friction and making the set move. After many pulls and board replacings, my father was satisfied. Politely, he thanked me for my help and said I could go inside. Though I didn't know it yet, he had used applied science to move the wooden behemoth: A lever and a method to reduce friction. Not only is my father observant, he's also clever in figuring out how to make a job easier... and how to make sure it included me too.