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Pipeline Challenge

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on how engineers develop pipeline systems to transport oil, water, gas, and other materials over very long distances. Students work in teams of "engineers" to develop a pipeline system to transport both a golf ball and ping pong ball across the classroom terrain.

Age Levels:

8 - 18
  • Learn how civil engineers approach large scale problem solving.
  • Learn how engineering teams address problem solving.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • engineering design
  • problem solving
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students learn how land and weather, distance, and materials to be transported impact engineering plans. Students work in teams of "engineers" to design a pipeline to transport both a golf ball and ping pong ball from one end of the classroom to another with obstacles and turns. Students develop a plan/drawing, execute their pipeline plan, and evaluate the strategies employed by other student teams.

  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

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