Windy City Tower

This Windy City Tower activity & project also includes:

Your class will be blown away when they build their own city tower structure! Engineering scholars partner up to plan, build, and test their own paper towers. As they build, they gain valuable design skills, learn about wind tunnel testing and lateral force, and practice troubleshooting their builds.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Demonstrate how engineers use wind tunnels to test tower designs with a video clip
  • Have the class compare their results, then pull the best features of each tower together to create the ultimate tower design

Classroom Considerations
  • Execute the project in an area with enough space so that towers can be 10 feet from the fan at the start of each test
  • Stock up on drawing paper and masking tape to ensure each group has enough materials for a potential rebuild if their design fails
Pros
  • The activity capitalizes on connections between personal experiences with wind storms and building design
  • The Three Little Pigs analogy is the perfect way to introduce the lesson to younger learners
Cons
  • None
Common Core