Strength of Shapes Information Video
After viewing the video, students will be asked to consider how this challenge could be applicable to a real-life problem. Create a brainstorming chart. How might engineers attempt to solve this problem?
Create a list of questions to be answered by completing the challenge. This document will be used in the final reflection document created by students.
9th grade cube challenge
The rubric will be shared with students prior to the start of work.
1 cube per student or student pair, if support is needed.
Cube must be 4 inches by 4 inches.
You are given 10 sticks of balsa wood. Students will have 3 attempts to create the strongest design. Students may collaborate on design ideas, but must construct independently or with partner. Teacher assistance and guidance will be available.
Previous design graphs will be available for reference, providing support for students who are experiencing challenges in design. Students may study these designs for assistance, but may not replicate.
Use graph paper to lay out design, and to ensure gluing process remains square.
No overlapping of sticks or laminating of sticks.
Successful cube will hold the most weight.
Use your engineering skills to make the strongest cube you can!
Students will record/save all documents from all attempts. A final reflective document will note how and why the design changed for each attempt. Students may include, photos, notes, graphs or other examples in their reflective document. The rubric will only be used for the final design.
9th Grade Cube Challenge Rubric
1 side correct
2 sides correct
3 sides correct
Perfect 4x4 cube
3 or more sticks left over
2 full sticks left over
One full stick left over
Loose joints, excess glue
All tight joints
Tight joints, no excess glue
Held under 19 pounds
Held 20-49 pounds
Held 50-100 pounds
Held over 100 pounds
This is an image of a finished balsa wood cube being tested. I use books as weights, stacked on top of cube. We have had cubes that held over 200 pounds!
balsa wood sticks (Popsicle sticks could be used, but they will be much stronger!)
link for purchase