Sandcastle Engineering Design

photo credit:  Sand Castle via photopin

Learning Objective: To design a sandcastle at the beach using the principles of engineering design.

Making a sandcastle or other object out of sand remains a favorite past time at the beach. These structures are design challenges as the materials, a mixture of sand and water, must be in just the right proportions to build a sturdy structure! Plus some imagination must go into forming the final product.

Using a typical (and very economical) beach bucket kit equipped with a shovel, etc. have kids go through the process of engineering design (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Design, Improve) as they construct their very own castle. 

Take pictures at different stages along the way to create a time lapse to show their progression. Ask them to reflect on the process with questions such as: What materials did you use to build your sandcastle and why? What worked? What did not? Did you change anything? If so, what? What would you do differently next time?

Finally, be sure to take a picture of the engineer next to his or her masterpiece!


Engineering is Elementary: The Engineering Design Process


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