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Student-constructed projects put through engineering test

Spelling aside, young “ingineers” are engaged in hands on engineering activities in the Halifax County elementary gifted program. 

Applying basics principles of engineering, students built structures and tested the results throughout the construction process.  


First and second grade

After marveling at the beauty and function of the Eiffel Tower, first and second grade students examined pictures of the tower and discussed the importance of using basic shapes (especially triangles) to make strong towers.  Using marshmallows and toothpicks at the countywide “International World’s Fair” event on April 24, these same students made creative miniature towers. 


Fifth grade

Fifth graders built “Scrapers in the Sky” during the countywide Math Mania Day on April 22.  The top five skyscrapers in the world were viewed in awe and discussed using a teacher made power point. 

In teams, students were instructed to build a tower in 20 minutes that could be transported to a challenge site. 

Points were awarded for the height as well as amount of weight that could be supported at the top. 

Each team was supplied with a roll of tape and unlimited use of newspapers. Weights used were golf balls and pennies.  

Students learned that many factors such as weight distribution, gravity, wind resistance, stable foundations and strong central cores were key elements to consider when building a skyscraper.  

Funds for instructional manuals and materials were made possible through a grant from the Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation.