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Lesson Title: Spaghetti Anyone? Building With Pasta
May 11, 2012

Unit: Engineering - Design Process

Grade Levels: 5-8

Connection To Curriculum: Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 15 minutes

Lesson Time Needed: 1.5 hours

Complexity Basic

Keywords: design process, structures, geometry, failure

Materials:

Uncooked thick spaghetti
Marshmallows
100 cm (1 m) of masking tape
Scissors (to cut spaghetti)
Science journal
Pencil
Metric ruler or meter stick
 

Description
Use the engineering design process to build a structure to handle the greatest load. Gain first-hand experience with compression and tension forces.

Objectives
Students will:
• Test factors affecting the strength and stability of a structure.
• Use the design process to identify the problem and brainstorm, design, build, test, redesign and share their solutions.
• Measure and record strength and amount of weight the structure will hold.


First page of Spaghetti Anyone? - Building with Pasta

Lesson Guide
Spaghetti Anyone? Building With Pasta Lesson
[112KB PDF file]

 

 


Professional Development Training Modules for This Lesson

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› Engineering Design Process training module  →
download arrow icon Download Video
 

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› Spaghetti Anyone? training module  →
download arrow icon Download Video
 

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› Failure as a Concept training module  →
download arrow icon Download Video

Lesson Activities and Sequence

NASA "Why?" Files: The Case of the "Wright Invention"  →

  1. Create a design for your spaghetti structure.
  2. Build the tower.
  3. Redesign to correct for any structural flaws.
  4. Draw the final design at the bottom of this page.
  5. Measure and record the height of your structure.
  6. Share your model with the class and compare heights to other models.

Keywords: design process, structures, geometry, failure

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• An appreciation of "how we know" what we know in science.
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Ratios and Proportional Relationships
• Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
Geometry
• Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area and volume.

ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
Communication and Collaboration
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

 

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Page Last Updated: August 23rd, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator