Tallest Paper Tower Challenge for Grades 9-12
- Design and build a paper tower based on specific criteria.
- Iteratively test and modify the tower to improve its performance.
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. The lesson is based on the real-world challenge of designing an observation tower. Can your students maximize the height of the tower while minimizing the amount of material needed to construct it? Optionally, students can enter their designs in the 2021 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that elementary and middle school versions of this lesson plan are also available.
Remote learning adaptation: Students can watch the introductory video and follow the instructions on the Student Worksheet to build and test their towers independently at home. If you would like students to work collaboratively, students can share their design ideas and testing results with each other via video conferencing or shared documents and photos iteratively before settling on a final tower to test and submit as their entry.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
If you want to enter your design in the 2021 Fluor Engineering Challenge, you can only use the materials listed below.
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