Name of Activity

Tiny Homes- Environmental Conditions and Structural Stability




tiny homes, sustainability, materials, properties, shoebox, planning, building, stability, flexibility



Grade Level

4, 5, 6, 7


1 Hour

Brief Description

Students will continue working on their tiny homes by learning and applying concepts related to structural stability. Students think critically about the conditions their home has to stand up to and how they as engineers should plan and build accordingly.

Learning Goals:

Students will practice planning and working in groups. Students will gain understanding of material properties and structural stability and apply these concepts by building on to their tiny homes.


popsicle sticks, cardboard, scissors, cotton balls, masking tape, glue gun


If possible have the students already in their building groups when you get there.

Knowledge Background

The teacher should have grouped the students into groups that work well together. Ideally the teacher should have some familiarity with stability and flexibility.


  1. Recap the planning and building that students have already done on their tiny homes.
  2. Talk about how buildings need to be structurally sound to stand up to their environments.
  3. Show pictures of some structurally cool buildings (e.g. really tall, made of bamboo, lots of triangles).
  4. Introduce the terms stability and flexibility. Go over what it means for a building to be structurally sound.
  5. Before handing out materials, ask groups to plan how they want to make their homes better structurally. They should consider what part of the world they chose for their tiny home and what environmental factors exist there.
  6. Give the students access to the materials and leave them plenty of time for building.
  7. Take a break halfway through for groups to share what ideas they’ve had and what they’ve implemented so far.
  8. When a group is happy with the materials they’ve taped on use the glue gun to finalize their design.

Previous Activity (if applicable)

Tiny Homes – Temperature Control

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Tiny Homes and Energy Resources

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