Skyscrapers Inquiry Unit
Skyscrapers Hands-On Activity
Prompt for the students:
Using only the materials provided, teams of students will design and build a structure as tall as possible using the materials supplied (same materials for each group). The activity can be framed as a competition (for tallest structure, as measured vertically from the tabletop)) if appropriate.
- Divide students into groups of 3 or 4.
- Explain the rules:
- Build as tall a structure as you can in time allotted (15 minutes is good, but could be any amount) with marshmallow on top
- Use only the materials provided
- The materials can be subdivided (the marshmallow on top can be a piece of the original marshmallow)
- Call time and measure the structures
- Relate this activity of the challenge of having to build up during a period of urbanization such as the industrial revolution
- Have the students consider how they were constrained by both the types of raw materials and the amounts of raw materials available.
- Have the students consider how they were constrained by time
- Was there more than one possible solution, given the same materials? Were some better than others? Why? What were some possible trade-offs in choosing a solution?
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