STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures

STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
STEMgineering LABS: Designing, Building, and Testing Weight Bearing Structures
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Word Document File

(17 KB|3 pages)
Product Description

An original approach to structural engineering for kids. These three challenges make use of paper straws as the primary building material with a focus on complying with simple quantitative specifications. Challenge #1 is a simple rectangular weight bearing structure; Challenge #2 involves bridge building; and Challenge #3 requires a structural system that suspends weights away from a vertical surface. These labs provide interesting challenges using a unique approach to more precise construction than is typically seen; straws are glued to graph paper and triangular gusset plates are used for reinforcement - especially at corners. One of the keys to load bearing structures is the balance and stability that is achieved through precise measurement and careful construction. The key ideas presented can easily be tweaked, simplified, advanced, or extrapolated to accommodate demographics, class sizes, and teacher experience and creativity. Testing student structures is accomplished with ordinary objects of increasing weight; will your student teams support one gallon of water (8 lbs.) or only a can of beans (1 lb.)? . Projects do require the purchasing of materials; links are included for biodegradable paper straws and quick dry tacky glue.

Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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Rick Bobrick

Rick Bobrick

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