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