Have your students ever thought about what makes balconies and awnings stable and safe structures?
VocabularyCantilever A projecting structure supported at only one end, such as a shelf bracket or diving board.
Place a heavy book in a bag with straps. Have students first place the bag straps over their arms near the shoulder, and then over the tips of their fingers. Is it equally easy to support the weight in both places?
They should see that it is much easier to support the bag close to the shoulder, near the fixed base of the cantilever, then at the unsupported fingertip end. A cantilever, such as in balconies and awnings, can support more weight closer to its fixed end.
Have various household materials available and have your students build a business front with a balcony or an awning and make sure that they use something to serve as the cantilever.