Skip to content.

Super Structures

Super StructuresBuild human-scale structures of great height and strength. Working in teams, students explore the strengths of different shapes made with dowels and rubber bands. Students will use investigation and their knowledge of geometry to build strong towers or bridges that can withstand a load of up to 8 pounds. Apply engineering principles to build a SUPER STRUCTURE.

LEARNING LAB MAX: 32 students per lab session, with 3 lab sessions available per hour
TIME: 50 minutes
GRADE: Designed for grades 6-8
COST: $6 per lab, per student. This does not include museum admission.

LEARNING GOALS:

  • Students will experience the relative strengths of different geometric shapes and how they carry the loads they experience.
  • Students will cooperatively problem solve and apply their knowledge to engineer a solution to a problem.
  • Students explain their reasoning and decision-making process used in creating free-standing structures.
  • Geometric principles can be applied to help solve real-world challenges.

 

SUPPORTS MINNESOTA STATE STANDARDS:

The Nature of Science and Engineering

6.1.2.1.2 - Recognize that there is no perfect design and that new technologies have consequences that may increase some risks and decrease others.
6.1.2.1.4 - Explain the importance of learning from past failures, in order to inform future designs of similar products or systems.
6.1.2.2.1 - Apply and document an engineering design process that includes identifying criteria and constraints, making representations, testing and evaluation, and refining the design as needed to construct a product or system that solves a problem.
6.1.3.4.1 - Determine and use appropriate safe procedures, tools, measurements, graphs and mathematical analyses to describe and investigate natural and designed systems in a physical science context.
7.1.1.2.3 - Generate a scientific conclusion from an investigation, clearly distinguishing between results (evidence) and conclusions (explanation).
8.1.1.2.1 - Use logical reasoning and imagination to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models based on evidence.
8.1.3.4.2 - Determine and use appropriate safety procedures, tools, measurements, graphs and mathematical analyses to describe and investigate natural and designed systems in Earth and physical science contexts.

Physical Science

6.2.2.2.1 - Recognize that when the forces acting on an object are balanced, the object remains at rest or continues to move at a constant speed in a straight line, and that unbalanced forces cause a change in the speed or direction of the motion of an object.
6.2.2.2.3 - Recognize that some forces between objects act when the objects are in direct contact and others, such as magnetic, electrical and gravitational forces can act from a distance.
8.1.1.2.1 - Use logical reasoning and imagination to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models based on evidence.

Geometry & Measurement

6.3.2.1 - Solve problems using relationships between the angles formed by intersecting lines.
6.3.2.2 - Determine missing angle measurements in a triangle using the fact that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is 180°. Use models of triangles to illustrate this fact.
8.3.1.1 - Use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems involving right triangles.
8.3.1.3 - Informally justify the Pythagorean Theorem by using measurements, diagrams and computer software.

Request a Learning Lab

Learning Labs are available for school groups at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. They occur on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during October-November and January-May. (In May, Tuesdays also become available.) Minimum/Maximum class size: 16/32 students. Reservations are required at least 2 weeks in advance for Learning Labs. To make your reservation, fill out the Field Trip Reservation Request, email , or call (651) 221-9444 Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Learning Labs Price: $6 per lab, per student. Requires museum admission. Minimum 16, maximum 32 students per lab.