Sanity Saver: Magic School Construction

Sponsored by: National Grid

Written by: Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

Supplies suggestions:

Modeling clay, straws, craft sticks, any other recycled materials

Length:

20 minutes

Academic Subjects:

Science
This lesson supports the following standards:
ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems- Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints).

Directions for Magic School Constructions:

Explore & More has decided to open up a school of witchcraft and wizardry and we need your help! First we need a model school built first. Using different materials found around your home can you help build us a school for witches and wizards!? Follow the below directions to get you started on your project, then use your imagination to add some magic!

1.) Start by ripping your clay or dough into small pieces. Each piece should be the size of your thumb.
2.) The bottom of our school will be built on a square. You will need four pieces of clay. Stick a straw into the clay, and then add another piece of clay to the other end.
3.) Using the same straw, we are going to add another straw to each piece of model magic. It should look like the letter u.  
4.) Add a piece of clay onto both straw ends.  
5.) Finish the square by adding another straw.  
6.) Next we will use the craft sticks to build up toward the sky! Place a craft stick in every piece of clay pointing toward the ceiling.   
7.) We’ll need 4 pieces of model magic for this step. Add them one at a time to the top of the craft stick. Now we are taking are square and turning it into a new shape. A cube!  
8.) Pull out 4 more straws, and attach them one at a time between the craft sticks.  
9.) Finally you can either build a roof, add flags, or keep building toward the sky. If you wish to keep building on your tower, we will add more clay to the 4 corners. Then place a craft stick on each corner pointing towards the sky. See if you can remember what to do next! If you wish to stop and build a roof, you will need 4 straws. Place them into the clay and slowly push the tops of the straws toward the middle of the cube to form a triangle! You can add a piece of clay at the top of the triangle to hold it together. 

Vocabulary 

Architect– a person who designs buildings. Architect’s decide on the buildings shape, size, and what the building is made of. 
Engineer– a person who takes the architect’s building plans and builds them.

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here!