Currently viewing the category: "Grade 9+"
Brief Description Students create greeting cards that have an LED.
Subject Engineering & Art
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 3 Hours Total
Lesson Objectives:
  1. Students will practice building circuits and broaden their understanding of what a circuit looks like.
  2. Students will practice gratitude by writing cards to people they love.
  3. Students will make connections between engineering and art.
Materials Needed:
      The materials for this activity can be somewhat expensive if you let the students keep their cards. Be sure to have your expense approved in advance.

    • 3V coin cell battery (1 per person)
    • 3mm colored LEDs (1-3 per person)
    • resistors (to protect the LED)
    • copper tape
    • masking tape
    • Scrap paper for planning cards
    • Construction paper for the final cards
    • Additional craft supplies (markers, scissors)
    • sample card(s) (optional)
Preparation and Set Up:
  • Order necessary materials well in advance.
  • It is recommended for younger students that you tape the resistor to the battery for them.
  • Make the sample card(s).
Necessary Background Students must know how to build complete circuits.
  1. Explain the activity. Be sure to explain the coin cell battery and the copper tape. Pass around the sample(s).(10 mins)
  2. Give students the scrap paper, a battery and an LED. Ask them to plan their card. Be sure to remind them that it is only a sketch. You may want to review how the coin cell battery works once they all have their own.(20 mins)
  3. When each student is done with their sketch, give them the construction paper or cardstock. Have them do another sketch of their circuit.(10 mins)
  4. This time, when the student finishes the sketch of the circuit, they can ask you for copper tape. Be sure to approve their circuit first so that you can be sure they are using the copper tape properly. While students are waiting for approval and copper tape, have them decorate the front of their cards. If, during this work period, you need to break to finish next class, be sure to store the cards in such a way that none of the lights are on. Leaving the lights on will drain the batteries.(60 mins)
  5. Wrap up the activity however you choose. (10 mins)
Authors Ali Boreiko & Daniel deCórdoba
Brief Description Students build the tallest tower possible to support a marshmallow. They can use only dry spaghetti and tape.
Subject Types of Engineering, Miscellaneous
Grade Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: Depending on your goals for the unit, the lesson objectives may include:

  1. Students will better understand what “engineering” is and practice using the engineering design process.
  2. Students will practice working with constraints. They will be able to identify the constraints in this activity.
  3. Students will be able to describe the properties of strong structures.
  4. Students will begin to realize that it is okay to fail!
Materials Needed:
  • dried spaghetti (10 pieces for every group)
  • masking tape (1 ft for every group)
  • marshmallows (1 per group)
  • measuring tape/yardstick (most classrooms have one)
Preparation and Set Up:
  • Gather necessary materials
  • When in the class, it is recommended that one STOMPer divide up the tape and spaghetti while the other STOMPer explains the activity.
Necessary Background This activity requires no specific background. Many STOMPers use it to introduce the engineering design process.
  1. Explain the activity: They will have 15 minutes to build the tallest tower out of 10 pieces of spaghetti and 12 inches of tape. The marshmallow must balance at the top of the tower.  The time limit and the limited amount of materials given are known as constraints. (No, you can’t eat the marshmallows. We will be measuring from to the top of the marshmallow so don’t use it as a base)
  2. Split students into groups of 2-4 students and let them work for 15 minutes. Circulate the classroom and talk about different designs.
  3. At the end of 15 minutes, measure the towers. It is recommended not to
  4. Discuss: What did you have trouble with in this challenge? What do you think you needed to make a better tower? How did you make yours stand up? Did the weight of the marshmallow make any towers collapse? You may also want to revisit and discuss any learning goals for the class.
  5. If time allows, you may repeat the activity. Many classes like to repeat the activity so that they can apply what they have just learned!
Author Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman
Reference 1

Tufts Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program • 200 Boston Ave. • Suite G810 • Medford, MA • 617-627-5888

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