What email address or phone number would you like to use to sign in to Docs.com?
If you already have an account that you use with Office or other Microsoft services, enter it here.
Or sign in with:
Signing in allows you to download and like content, and it provides the authors analytical data about your interactions with their content.
Embed code for: Building With Paper
Select a size
A simple engineering challenge for students in grades 2-5
Building with Paper! A Simple Engineering Challenge Grades 2-5 A2L Inspired by: PBS, Building Big Skyscrapers Force – any action that tends to maintain or alter the position of a structure Load – weight distribution throughout a structure; loads caused by wind, earthquakes, and gravity affect how weight is distributed throughout a structure Pressure – a force applied or distributed over an area Spire – an architectural or decorative feature of a skyscraper Stable – ability to resist collapse and deformation Unstable – characteristic of a structure that collapses or deforms under a load Vocabulary Students are challenged to build the tallest structure they can using only two sheets of newspaper, getting it to stand up firmly without using tape, staples, glue, or other materials. By considering to bend, fold, or tear the paper, students learn about basic structural techniques in building creation. Materials: per groups of two •2 sheets of newspaper •ruler •hand wipes for cleanup •scotch tape (for activity extension) Objective Objective: The strength of a building material can depend on how it is used. Pleating or rolling paper can increase its stiffness. By crumpling, folding, and otherwise reshaping the flimsy flat sheets and by forming a wide base, students can make their newspaper sheets in this activity stand up and reach unexpected heights Many forces are at work on towers. Gravity and the dead load of a towers will push down, the ground pushes back up, and small air movements push from the side. A foundation distributes the load into the surrounding ground material and can help balance the sideways wind force. The size of the foundation depends on the strength of the supporting ground. A foundation placed in rock can be smaller than a foundation placed in sand or mud. Background After the groups finish and measure, have everyone take a tour of the results. Ask: What forces are affecting these towers? Use one tower as a model to point out that gravity and the dead load of the tower are pushing down, the surface is pushing back up, and small air movements are adding forces from the side. Ask: What different solutions did groups come up with to counteract these forces? What is similar about the taller structures? Encourage students to point out creative uses of shapes, fastening techniques, wide bases, and other solutions to balancing and stiffening the towers. Ask: How did your result compare to your prediction? Give possible reasons for any difference. If you could use one other material to make your tower taller, what would it be? Why? Assessment Vary the activity How much taller can students make their tower if they can add 8 inches of tape? They can’t use the tape to secure the tower to the table; so, how can they use it? After you allow time to discuss and explore uses of the tape, suggest that it could help stiffen the newspaper, particularly at the base, or could hold stable shapes such as triangles or columns together. Testing stability How well does each tower withstand environmental forces? Use a fan to imitate wind gusts or shake the table gently to imitate an earthquake. How would the students alter their initial designs, to better withstand such forces? How could they do so, using 2 sheets of newspaper and 8 inches of tape? Extension