Weeks 1-4:

Students will work in teams to construct a bridge using the following constraints:

  • Spaghetti-bridge project  

      Each group is to build a bridge made from spaghetti and glue/epoxy. The object is to construct a bridge that will carry the heaviest load while still meeting specifications. Bridges will be loaded until they fail.  


    1. The bridge is to be built from spaghetti (cylindrical forms of pasta) and glue, epoxy or resin. 


    1. The bridge shall be free-standing and must span two level surfaces which are a half- meter apart. 


    1. The support for the bridge shall be from the top of the level surfaces. The edges of the level surfaces cannot be used in any way for support. 


    1. The bridge must include a decking of spaghetti to provide a suitable road surface at least 5cm wide across the full span of the bridge. Three conditions must be met: a) gaps in the bridge deck are not to exceed 2 mm, b) a block of wood (5 cm x 5cm x 10 cm) representing a car must be able to move along the length of the decking unobstructed from end to end, c) the deck of the bridge must not be more than 5 cm above or below the ends of the bridge at any point along its length. 


    1. The maximum vertical depth of the bridge, from the highest point in its structure to the lowest cannot exceed 25 cm. 


    1. The maximum weight of the bridge including the loading platform must not exceed 250 grams. 

Weeks 5-9

Students will explore facets of 3D design and modeling using Isometric Sketching, Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), and Prototyping. 

  1. Driving Question/Purpose: Create a nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that combats climate change by either:
    1. Helping communities adapt to or mitigate climate change impacts (i.e. those forecasted or already in motion), and/or 
    2. Reversing or slowing climate change itself (e.g. by removing excess greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere) 
  1. Learning Targets 
    1. Identify functions of biomimetic design 
    2. Utilize biomimicry taxonomy 
    3. Apply context in biomimetic design 
    4. Differentiate between systems and heaps 
    5. Apply the systematic concept of higher order function 
    6. Utilize the properties of systems 
      1. Boundaries 
      2. Sub-systems
      3. Super-systems 
      4. Adjacent systems 

Week 10-14

Students will Design & Develop a Product that Meets an Established Need for Students or Teachers at Ivy Hawn 

  • Must fit inside a standard backpack
  • Build Cost must be less than $5.00
  • Small & Manageable
  • Less than 10 Parts
  • Is somewhat novel
  • Does not duplicate existing products
  • Search the web for possible competitors
  • Sell us on your idea
    • Tell us why existing products do not do the job
    • Convince us that nothing exists that will fill the need you have identified

Week 15-18- Coding

Students will explore how algorithms and binary code impact their daily lives.

Activities include:

  • Algorithm writing with Tangrams
    • Learning Targets
      • What is an algorithm
      • Translate image into actionable instructions
  • Creating Binary Images
    • Learning Targets
      • Convey instructions to classmates in order to reproduce an image
  • Using binary code to create jewelry patterns
    • Learning Targets
      • Analyze to determine whether or not code was successful
  • Write you name in binary
  • Robot Inventor Timelines
    • Learning Targets
      • Create an algorithm
      • analyze your algorithm
      • redesign and rerun your algorithm

Week 19- 28

Students will work through series of missions with the end goal being to design, build, and program a robot that can think and move on its own. The robot should have a job or purpose that you’ve given it (ex: moves something, acts as a security gadget, manufactures and assembles etc…)

  • Activities
    • Build and program a robot from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits
    • Utilize Raspberry Pi to build and program a robot buggy
    • Design, build, and program a robot that does a job
  • Learning Targets
    • Create, analyze, and design algorithms
    • explore different coding languages: python, binary, blockly, scratch etc..
    • Explore aspects of physical computing