What do bridges, towers, and musical instruments have in common? They are all items that people designed, tested out, and then went back to the drawing board to redesign. This week, we’ll explore engineering design by having you build and redesign a paper bridge, a tower, and musical instruments.
Online Videos: Use these links to educate and entertain!
- Early Elementary: How Do Engineers Solve Problems?
- Upper Elementary: What’s an Engineer?
- Middle School: The Engineering Design Process and a Taco Party
- High School: Engineering Design Process
Paper Bridges – We’re used to seeing bridges of stone or metal but can you make a bridge out of something flimsy like paper? How much could that bridge actually hold? If you build it right, a paper bridge can hold quite a lot of weight! Students will explore the engineering design process as they find the most effective way to use paper in bridge-building.
Design To Avoid Disaster – In this activity from the STEM Center’s MOSAIC series, students create a tower that can hold a decorative “moon” at the top. This tower needs to stand at least 1.5 feet high and withstand a heavy wind so students will work with the materials available to them to meet those challenges!
Musical Instruments – Test out your engineering design skills and create some musical instruments. Create maracas, tambourines, kazoos, and then change the design to get the most consistent sound.
Feature image photo credit: Photo by Sindre Strøm from Pexels