This is one of my all-time favorite labs! Your students’ jaws will drop when you tell them what you except them to make!
This lab is designed to guide the student through the engineering design process while they design and construct a platform using a couple inches of tape and a few index cards that will hold a cement block off the ground!
Students will follow the eight steps of the engineering design process as they identify the need or problem, develop possible solutions, and build and test their design!
The only materials that are needed are a roll of masking tape, a package of index cards, and a few cement blocks. (I purchased mine at Home Depot for about $1.50.) If you have all that, and you’ve photocopied the lab, you’re done prepping!
This lab supports the following Technology/Engineering Standards for students in Grades 6-8:
• Identify and explain the steps of the engineering design process, i.e., identify the need or problem, research the problem, develop possible solutions, select the best possible solution(s), construct a prototype, test and evaluate, communicate the solution(s), and redesign.
• Demonstrate methods of representing solutions to a design problem, e.g., sketches, orthographic projections, multiview drawings.
• Describe and explain the purpose of a given prototype.
• Identify appropriate materials, tools, and machines needed to construct a prototype of a given engineering design.
• Explain how such design features as size, shape, weight, function, and cost limitations would affect the construction of a given prototype.
• Describe and explain parts of a structure, e.g., foundation, flooring, decking, wall, roofing systems.
• Explain how the forces of tension, compression, torsion, bending, and shear affect the performance of bridges.
• Describe and explain the effects of loads and structural shapes on bridges.
If you like this lab, you might also be interested in my Protect a Pringle Engineering Lab.
Support a Cement Block! Engineering Design Lab
by Adventures in Science
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License