Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on the growth of tall buildings and their structures. Students work in teams to develop the tallest tower they can build with limited materials that can support the weight of a golf ball for two minutes. They develop a design on paper, build their tower, present and test their tower to the class, evaluate their results and those of their teammates, and complete reflection sheets.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Translated Lessons:

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Learn about structural engineering.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

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

  • structural design and engineering
  • engineering design
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students explore the tallest buildings in the world and how they were designed and constructed. They then work in teams to develop the tallest tower they can to support the weight of a golf ball for 2 minutes. They are provided with 50 straws, 50 pipecleaners, and 25 paperclips. They develop a plan on paper, build the tower, test it, and compare their results with those of their classmates.


  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheet (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.

Lesson Plan Toolkit Presentation