Design, prototyping, testing and communication are all requirements of the final test. In a recent assignment, the challenge was to hold the weight of a zero turn mower (1228 pounds) with a small paper tower. Students' designs that that were successful will be subject to supporting the weight of a full-size pickup truck in the near future.
The students were limited to a sheet and a half of standard paper, or half of a manila folder, one foot of masking tape and a tablespoon of glue. The structure had to be at least 1 ½ inches tall and 3 inches in diameter.
The knowledge gained from this activity will carry into the next super unit of simple machines and hydraulics.
Engineering and science CAN be fun!