Name of Unit Structural Engineering via Architectural History
Author(s) Devyn Curley and Camille Mbayo
School Argenziano
Teacher Mrs. Murphy
Brief Description In chronological order, each lesson throughout the semester will be dedicated to an architectural innovation. Through these innovations we will teach lessons primarily in the field of structural engineering. As the curriculum progresses students will be taken through the thought processes of architects and builders throughout history as they experience first hand the benefits and drawbacks of each design and corresponding material choice. Teachers will perform a skit at the beginning of each class as a continuation of the class prior.  Each begins with the beneficial result of the prior week, a newly discovered problem, and brainstorming a solution. Other activity ideas can be taken from
Grade(s) 5
Keywords Structural Engineering, Architecture, History, Material choice, Design, Sturdy,
Number of Weeks 7
Week 1 Lego towers as an introductory lesson to introduce the what makes a structure sturdy.
Week 2 Aluminum Foil boats for Dr. Suess Week to emphasize the engineering design process, especially the importance of designs, testing, and rebuilding
Week 3 The core of the curriculum begins as we take a teepee twist to spaghetti towers (see comments).  This starts the story as the STOMPers act as Native Americans who are nomadic and need a structure that is easy to pack up and transport, prompting the design problem for the students.
Week 4 Bridge Building with marshmallows and toothpicks. The STOMPers now have shelters that make it easy to travel, but come across a river that they need to cross in order to travel to greener pastures.
Week 5 Building Aqueducts out of straws, duct tape, and paper cups.  The STOMPers have now crossed the river, and found a great spot to settle down, but it’s far away from the river. The students must now find a way to transport the water from the river to their hopefully permanent space.
Week 6 Building Skyscrapers Week 1.  Time has quickly  passed, and the access to water has allowed our small village to blossom into a city as more and more people have come to live there. Students are prompted to design a sky scraper with at least 3 floors out of any material they utilized during the semester. Week 1 serves as a time to select materials and draw detailed designs, deliverables being an order for supplies and a fully labeled sketch of their building with multiple views
Week 7 Building Skyscrapers Week 2. Students construct their designs, making sure to note any design changes they make as they come across unanticipated obstacles.

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