First was the paper structure challenge. Each group was given 30 sheets of paper and with a roll of masking tape they needed to create some kind of structure that had to be at least 12 inches tall and support the most amount of weight possible. Each group went with a different design so it was going to be interesting to see which one could hold the most amount of weight.
Now it came time to test out the structures and to test out how much weight they could hold we stacked old textbooks on top of them. The students were very surprised in how much weight some flimsy pieces of paper could hold when they formed to shapes. In the end the all girls group came on top having a grand total of 17 books stacked on top of their structure. We ran out of books but I am sure we could have put a lot more on top of it.
Next was the wooden bridge building challenge. Using thin pieces of wood that I cut from the table saw and a glue gun students had to create a bridges that went from one shop table to the other. The only restrictions were that they could only have two pieces that went from one table to the other and the rest of the bridge had to be made from smaller pieces.
To test out the bridges strength we attached a plywood platform to the bridges suspended by some string. Then we would stack pieces of wood on the platform to see how much each of them could hold. Here is the group with the strongest bridge.