Sticks and Bands

August 16, 2020

Are all structures built the same way in the same place? Or does the environment and landforms affect how a structure is built?

Amazeum Tinkering Lead Alicia Jones introduces an activity to engineer a structure that can withstand the elements and keep its occupants safe. Use your imagination to create an environment for your characters and build them a home. 

Materials | Supplies

  • chopsticks, pencils, dowel rods, sticks
  • rubber bands
  • chenille sticks
  • play dough (optional)
  • cardboard
  • leaves, straw, small rocks etc.
  • packing peanuts, straws, recycled materials

Concepts Explored

  • engineering
  • construction
  • creativity
  • problem-solving

Discovery Starters

When you're joining the sticks, what are some challenges you had? 

Why is it important to think about the environment when building?

Are some structures stronger than others? Why?

How did you imagine the environment?


Explore Further

What challenges did you have to find solutions for as you built your structure? 

What additional materials/items would your structure need for your characters to be able to survive? Why?

How important is the environment in deciding what to include? 

Additional Resources

KQED video: What is structural engineering? | Science Spotlight

Young Architect website 15 Awesome Architecture Books for Kids

Amazeum YOU activities Build a Bridge | Air Powered Vehicles