Paper Towers: Building students' understandings of technological designby: James Minogue and Todd Guentensberger

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“What do you think the National Science Education Standards are referring to when they talk about science and technology?" The authors posed this question to a group of undergraduate education majors during a science teaching methods course. The students’ somewhat myopic notions of technology provided the perfect segue to introduce the activity, Paper Towers, which can be used in the middle school science classroom to help students develop their understandings of technological design.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:07 PM

Currently I am a pre service teacher and taking a teach science class. In class we did this lesson. We used literacy by making a graph on the dry erase board. Had a challenge to make the tallest paper tower using only 3 pieces of paper and a limited amount of tape within 15 minutes. Surprisingly I did not read this article before, but very informational. I was engaged and feel students would be just as engaged.

Jessica Philipp  (Waterloo, IA)
Jessica Philipp (Waterloo, IA)

  • on Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:07 PM

This article describes a simple activity that allows students to identify a design flaw, create a better design, test the new design and evaluate it and then communicate their results in an effort in an overall effort to have students understand technological design. The activity requires very simple materials. The activity is described in full and would be very easy to recreate in a classroom. This activity would be a great one to introduce technological design in the classroom.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu May 23, 2013 3:46 PM

This article discusses a simple way to introduce students to the idea of engineering design and a design loop where they brainstorm problems and redesign a better solution. It is simple, inexpensive and would make a great beginning of the year activity at any grade level.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

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