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5th Grade Engineers Build Sturdy Paper Towers

In science class with Middle School teacher Dr. Courtney St. Prix, fifth graders are learning all about what it means to be an engineer. Students answered the following question to begin their new unit: "What do engineers do?" They offered up responses such as "build things," "fix things," "work with machines" and "problem solve." Dr. St. Prix then conducted a presentation going over some of the world's tallest buildings, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Shanghai World Financial Center in China. Students discussed how engineers may have constructed each of the structures. To explore this topic further, they completed an engineering challenge. Using 100 index cards that they could not cut or tear, the budding engineers constructed towers strong enough to support the weight of a rubber duck named "Ducky Bob." The Middle Schoolers demonstrated great enthusiasm and excitement as they went through trial and error, modifying their designs along the way. Ultimately, they created towers as high as 130cm that could withstand the weight of Ducky Bob. Congratulations, fifth graders!

  • Middle School

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