Week 8

Session 1

Guiding Question

  • How can we make sand stand tall?


  • What are the positive and negative aspects of using mixed-materials as reinforcement materials?


  • Learners will test how to best use mixed-materials in reinforcing soil.

CT Components

Data Collection

  • Document different amounts, positions, and layers of mixed-materials as reinforcement; calculate the cost of all materials

Data Analysis

  • Summarize what worked and what did not

Problem Solving

  • Test & redesign different amounts, positions, and layers of mesh as reinforcement

Entry Event

No entry event today – students will need the full class time to experiment and create a plan for the competition.

Student Group Research

25 minutes

Once split into their groups, students should review the design challenge details and the rules of the competition. Each group should make sure that all members of their team understand what has to be accomplished and the rules of the competition. If unsure ask a Boise State staff member to explain.

In this session, students will have the opportunity to mix-and-match the different materials they have worked with.

During this phase, it is up to each team to look at the resources available – in this session, mixed-materials – and to plan how best they can be used to complete tasks within the time available. Good planning is the key to any successful project. Every person on the team has a valid contribution to make and every idea should be evaluated on its merits. Students should occasionally check with the job specifications to make sure their ideas are aligned with the learning targets.

Students may use the mixed-materials worksheet, large butcher paper, or their own journals to take notes, sketch ideas, write down observations, etc.


Student Experiments

35 minutes

Students will take their initial plans and experiment with mixed-materials as a reinforcement for the soil. Each group will work together to test different amounts, positions, and layers of mixed-materials. While constructing, students should not forget to compact the soil. If you do not compact, the reinforcement effects are minimal. Students should be encouraged to continue testing different methods. Students will want to take good notes on what worked during their experimentation - and what didn’t. Students should also take notes on the costs associated with their build for future comparison. Students should be sure to make note of what worked best and how much it cost for future comparisons/considerations.

10 minute break

Student Post-Survey

20 minutes

Students fill out the Post-survey in this session. The researchers will prepare the surveys. The teacher will help collect the completed surveys and return the surveys to the researchers on site.