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Lesson Overview

Lesson Title:
Skewer Towers

Mr. Taher Ahmed (Primary)

Brief Description:
In this activity students build a free-standing tower made out of bamboo skewers. The goal of this activity is to build a tower as tall as possible. It is recommended that this activity is conducted after the "Paper Towers" activity.

Topics Introduced:
Structural engineering, Infrastructure, Towers, Triangles and architecture

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Logistics Planning and Management Services
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Suggested Grade Levels:
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade


Lesson Information

Learning Expectations:

Students will:
1. Know the definition of infrastructure and some examples it.
2. Explore types of structures and the forces that act upon them.
3. Recognize factors to consider when designing a tower.
4. Explore the history of triangles in America.
5. Design, build and test a skewer tower.

Plan Of Action:

1. Introduce/Review the definition of the term infrastructure.
2. Question: "What are some general examples of infrastructure?".
3. Question: "Can you list all the different infrastructures that are associated with your school?".
4. Introduce/Review the term structural engineering and list some common structures.
5. Introduce/Review the term tower and explain what makes tower distinct from regular buildings.
6. List some design challenges in building towers.
7. Talk about the importance of triangular shapes in architecture.
8. Give a little background about triangles in American history.
9. Hand out or display to students the activity instructions (attached below in "Lesson Files").

Data Set Used:

No data set is used in this activity.

Materials Needed:

Materials needed per tower:
1. Bamboo skewers
2. Tape: 3 feet or more

1. Must have triangles built into design.
2. Base must either be square or triangular with pieces no wider than half a skewer.

Preparation Period:

1. Locate and set up all materials needed for the activity.
2. Preview/Practice different ways to use bamboo skewers as a structure for the demonstration.
3. Prepare a tower example that has various triangular shapes in its design.

Implementation Period:

Activity will last 50-60 minutes (including presentation and build time).

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Engineering, Math

Lesson Files

Skewer Towers Presentation
A PowerPoint presentation for the activity.
[size: 3353822] [date uploaded: Feb 24, 2020, 1:22 pm ]

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