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In this activity, learners use simple tools to build a bookshelf with a built-in bookend. In doing so, learners explore the impact of friction as well as how the properties of materials are key to their function. This activity is best suited for a wood-shop and requires the use of a drill. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 3 6' long Dowels, 5/16" thick
  • Wood pieces, at least 1/2" thick
  • Drill with bits of 19/64" and 11/32"
  • Decorations and paint


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, 2011