Name of Activity Build a Mini City
Author STOMP
Keywords city, sturdy structures, intro to types of engineering, boat, bridge, tower, earthquake, tornado, traffic system, non-lego
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Using a variety of materials provided and unlimited tape, the students were asked to create a “mini city” that contained 3 of 4 options. The 4 options were making a tall (2 feet) structure that is earthquake and tornado proof, a boat that can hold 20 pennies, a bridge that is at least 1 foot long to connect to another city and wide enough to allow a lego car to travel between the cities, and a traffic system.
Lesson Objectives: -Further encourage the use of the engineering design process.
-Encourage group collaboration.
-Allow the students to use and extend on the knowledge they gained throughout the introduction to types of engineering unit.
Materials Needed: cardboard, construction paper, aluminum foil, tape, popsicle sticks, lego wheels and pieces, pipe cleaners, plastic box filled with water, markers, pennies, fan
Preparation and Set Up: -Collect and separate all materials, so that each group has the same amount.
-Print out enough worksheets for the class.
-Fill plastic box with water.
-Precut pieces of tape for each group to start with.
-Discuss the challenge and possible ideas for ways to work in a group.
-Pass out worksheets and materials.
Procedure 1. Introduce the challenge. Discuss the exact details of each of the parts of the city and be sure to emphasize that they should make sure to complete at least 3 of the challenges. Also, discuss the timeline of work. We provided the students with 3 class periods, but that included the introduction and sharing their cities at the end. 2. Hand out worksheets. 3. Have students outline their ideas and make one plan as a group for their city including marking which materials will be used for what and how they will get the work done. 4. Hand out materials. 5. Encourage testing and redesigning. 6. Once ready, have each group describe their city to the class and test for earthquake and tornado proof structures (if applicable). 7. Discuss the challenges and successes of the students and their structures.
Extensions: -Limit the amount of tape.
-Provide different or fewer materials.
-Require the tower to be taller, the bridge to be longer, etc.
-Add another requirement.
Online Reference(s) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2013/07/16/boat-building/;http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2013/06/28/build-a-tower/;http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2013/07/01/ramp-cars-wheel-and-axle/;http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/popsicle-stick-bridges/
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Intro to Types of Engineering
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