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Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 3, Engineering Design: Full STEAM Ahead!

Posted by on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Dear Parents,

SAVY students had an eventful Wednesday in Engineering & Design: Full STEAM Ahead! Due to the storm, we had to adjust and have our morning session and lunch in Sutherland (the drop off/ pick up building) – but your kids didn’t let the thunderstorms and a change of scenery get in the way of their engineering design challenges! Their adaptability was impressive.

Today our challenges focused on designing structures for stability and strength. We learned about the importance of understanding and applying knowledge of forces (pushes and pulls) when considering how to ensure a structure is strong and stable. Students worked on the “Tallest Tower Challenge”. The tallest free-standing structure made with 5 pieces of copy paper, and 60cm of masking tape measured at

a whopping 106cm! For this challenge, students had the opportunity to work individually or in pairs. They learned that working with another engineer can be very rewarding, but also may has its challenges.

When we returned to our classroom after lunch, students were presented with a group challenge to design a bridge for strength. It was a great opportunity to practice working as a team and listening to the ideas of others. For this challenge, students were given six, 5 X 8 index cards and 8 pieces of tape. Their structures were tested with nuts weighing approximately 16 grams each. Strength was tested by how many of the weights could be placed on the “bridge” without it collapsing. One group placed over 150 weights on their structure! Through this process, students not only learned about how to build strong foundations for their structures, but also practiced how to problem solve and work as a team – even if you’re not in complete agreement with your team members.

At the end of the day, students began to create towers made with paper clips, index cards, straws, and a little modeling clay. Tomorrow morning, we will test the stability of these structures by creating a wind-storm simulation. Other challenges tomorrow will include creating three different types of bridges (beam, arch, and deep beam). Each bridge will be tested to see how much weight it can hold and draw conclusions about structure and strength.

We look forward to another great day tomorrow. . . rain or shine.