Engineering Design Challenge PP

Engineering Design Challenge
Build the Tallest Tower
that Can Support a
• Get in groups of 3-4 people
• 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1
• 1 yard of masking tape
• 1 yard of string
 Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one
that has the tallest structure measured from the tabletop surface to
the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be
suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling, or chandelier.
 The Entire Marshmallow Must Be On Top: The entire marshmallow
needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the
marshmallow disqualifies the team.
 Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: Team can use as many or as few of
the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape.
 Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the
spaghetti and to cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
 The Challenge Lasts 15 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure
when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at
the end of the exercise will be disqualified.
What did you learn?
• Discuss with your group and be ready to share
what you learned from this activity.
Performance Expectations
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change
to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it
function as needed to solve a given problem.
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths
and weaknesses of how each performs.
3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success
and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to
meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to
identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Performance Expectations
MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a
successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and
the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they
meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design
solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better
meet the criteria for success.
MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object,
tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints
for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more
manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and tradeoffs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as
possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
HS-ETS1-4. Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world
problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to
the problem.
Does this activity meet the intent of
Engineering Design in NGSS?
Synthesized Appendix I – Engineering Design in NGSS
Identify situations
that people want
to change as
problems that can
be solved through
Convey possible
solutions through
SOLUTIONS visual or physical
solutions, test
them, and
evaluate each
Specify criteria
and constraints
that a possible
solution to a
simple problem
must meet
Attend to
precision of
criteria and
constraints and
likely to limit
possible solutions
Attend to a broad
range of
considerations in
criteria and
constraints for
problems of social
and global
Research and
explore multiple
possible solutions
Combine parts of
different solutions
to create new
Break a major
problem into
smaller problems
that can be solved
Improve a
solution based on
results of simple
tests, including
failure points
Use systematic
processes to
iteratively test
and refine a
Prioritize criteria,
consider tradeoffs, and assess
social and
impacts as a
complex solution
is tested and