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Design a Park

Source Institutions

    Lunar and Planetary Institute

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Design a Park

In this activity, learners are invited to imagine the park of their dreams! In small groups, learners place moveable pieces on a grid, iterating on their plan together to create a plan for a community park. A variety of park features are offered as choices to include on the map, including a playground, skate park, water features, picnic areas, trails, and more. Like real-world projects, the plan is limited by the realities of space and funds. For younger learners, groups are limited to choosing less than 10 features. Learners ages 9 and up are limited not by the number of features, but by their cost in terms of points: They are challenged to keep track of the points on the park features cards and use less than 250 total points. Some park features, including a natural wetland and ice cream shop, promise to provide revenue back to the community and are worth points. Others, like a skate park or swimming pool, "cost" points. This activity is part of a curriculum designed to engage learners in hands-on engineering challenges.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy
  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Lunar and Planetary Institute, 2013

Funding Source:

  • NSF, DRL-1010844


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