Dive into Design

Learn how to engage your students in the engineering design process through participation in hands-on design challenges. Staff will experience two mini design challenges related to The Tech Challenge 2015 on Seismic Engineering. All staff will leave with two age-appropriate design challenges they can use at their site(s) and the option of taking their creation. Come build your own solutions and see how much fun this would be to do with students of all ages and backgrounds.

The Challenge: Build a skyscraper that has limited roof drift.


activity video:

Dive Into Design


Engineering and Invention

age range



  • Shake Tables

  • Adhesives and attaching materials (glue, tape, rubber bands, paper clips etc.)

  • A variety of wires (insulated and metal and pipe cleaner-type materials)

  • Different types of wood

  • paper of varying thickness

  • Weights, around 1 pound, that can be used to load test materials (You will need 3 per group)

  • Team journals

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Foil

  • Foam sheets

  • Straws

  • Coffee Stir Straws

  • Rubber bands (multiple sizes)

  • Paper clips

  • String

  • Masking tape

  • Bendable plastic (e.g. transparency sheets)

safety issues

TEST: Don't let young children use scissors or utility knives; assist/monitor older children when they're using scissors or knives.


design challenge, design challenge learning, ask, imagine, plan, create, test, improve, active, hands-on, real world problems, collaboration, aerodynamics, buoyancy, scale drawings, structures


The Tech Museum