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Building with Wonderful Junk


Source Institutions

    Great Science for Girls

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Building with Wonderful Junk

In this activity, learners work in groups to plan and build large structures using recyclable materials they have brought from home. The lesson plan includes questions to ask learners about the stability, symmetry, strength, and shape of their structure and its components. There is a "family letter" to send home, in both English and Spanish, asking for recycled materials. Also included is a section on "Careers and Role Models," with biographies of an environmental scientist and astronaut from diverse backgrounds.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Lots of clean, wonderful junk: all kinds of empty boxes (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, small and large cartons, gift boxes, egg cartons, etc.), cups (paper, plastic, cardboard), tubes (paper towel rollers, toilet paper rollers, poster tubes, gift paper rollers), foil (pie plates, cake pans), plastic bottles (no cans or glass)
  • Several rolls of masking tape
  • Paper and crayons (optional)
  • Camera (optional)

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Center of Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group
    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Addresses bias against this group
    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
  • Latino

    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Addresses bias against this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Col√≥n, Linda

Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Educational Equity Center at AED, ©2000

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