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Lesson Overview

Lesson Title:
Paper Towers

Ms. Sydney James (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will learn about structural engineering by designing and building the tallest tower out of paper.

Topics Introduced:
Structural engineering and infastructure
Suggested Grade Levels:
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade


Lesson Information

Learning Expectations:

Students will learn about civil engineering, structural engineering, what infrastructure is, towers, and how to utilize materials to build a tower out of paper.

Plan Of Action:

Students should work in pairs.
Give the PowerPoint presentation to the students, try and get the student thinking about what makes a strong tower.
*Optional* have the students draw out a plan or blueprints for their tower.
Distribute materials to each group of 2.
Let the students build.
As the students build, teachers or mentors can walk around and take measurements of the towers as they build. Students love to see how they stack up against other groups so writing each groups' tallest measurement on the white board is recommended.

Data Set Used:

Physics, mechanics of materials

Materials Needed:

Each group of 2 will need:
20 sheets of standard printer paper
4 sheets of cardstock
3 feet of tape

Teachers/mentors will have tape measures to measure the towers (towers will likely be between 28" and 90")

Preparation Period:

During the preparation period, count out 20 sheets of printer paper, 4 sheets of cardstock paper, and 3 feet of tape for each pair of students.

Implementation Period:

15 minute presentation, 45 minute hands-on activity

Lesson Files

Paper Towers
Powerpoint for the lesson
[size: 2057857] [date uploaded: Nov 20, 2019, 12:21 pm ]

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