How Sturdy is Your Building?

How Sturdy is Your Building photo

Shore Road fifth-graders used their creativity to design the sturdiest structure possible out of index cards and tape during a structural STEM challenge with visiting civil and structural engineers Nina Giannaris and Nick Shah.

The lesson opened with Mr. Shah asking the students a simple question. “How do you hold up a building?” he asked. “Look at the way in which the engineers are raising up the homes in this neighborhood that were affected by Superstorm Sandy and you will get some ideas.”

As the students utilized their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to build their structures, Mr. Shah and Ms. Giannaris demonstrated some of the ways in which engineers build structures to maintain strength using pilings and fortification methods. After the paper structures were complete, the students tested them individually by placing textbooks on top to see if they would crumble under the weight. There was then ample time for the students to improve on their STEM techniques to build a stronger structure.