Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on how through the centuries man has had the need to move water from one place to another. Engineered irrigation has proved critical throughout the world. Through this lesson, students work in teams to design and build a system to move water from one source to two different delivery areas. The challenge is to move two cups of water for at least three feet and distribute it evenly in two separate containers. They work with everyday items, develop a plan, build their “irrigation” system, and test their system. Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their own irrigation systems and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Learn about civil engineering.
  • Learn about engineering design.
  • Learn about planning and construction.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

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

  • civil engineering and design
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn how irrigation systems move water from one location to others where it may be needed for farming or other purposes. Students work in teams to design and build an irrigation system out of everyday items, test their system, evaluate their own results and those of other students, and present their findings to the class.


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

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.