Introduction: Building a Table: a Lesson in Strength
I built some scale model tables for another one of my Instructables and I thought it could be a useful and fun basis for an in-class project. With this lesson plan students will learn about what makes things strong, as well as how to make things lighter and more environmentally friendly.
This Instructable contains a Common Core-aligned lesson plan (in PDF form) and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation (zipped). The presentation helps to set up students to successfully complete the project. Additionally, students completing this exercise will learn about concepts such as optimization within constraints and the associated trade-offs, as well as modes of failure in complex structures.
This lesson plan goes along with two instructables (this one, and this one) which will help walk your students through how to design and physically construct their models.
Any feedback is welcome. Please let me know what you think!