Lesson Plan

A Visit to the Museum of Structural History

Students will collectively create an in house museum to display and educate musuem visitors about structural history within enginnering and architecture. #STEMchallenge
Marisa M.
Media specialist/librarian
Lake Travis High School
Austin, TX
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, Health & Wellness

Students will successfully be able to:

  • Reasonable estimate space and distances
  • Navigate the internet
  • Use computer aided drawing software
  • Utilize junior level math to solve mathematical equations
  • Solve problems using mathematics, and the design process adopted by deisgn previous courses
  • Communicate visually though sketches and diagrams
  • Communicate their ideas through 3D models using appropriate materials
  • Educate others through written information about their assigned stucture
Grades 10 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Attention getter (HOOK)

Free, Paid

Day 1: Discussion with  models

Start the class by having several historical 3D models open and projected for the class to see. Many of these models can be viewed in Sketchup Make or TinkerCad (Free.)  With the model visible, the teacher should rotate the models and zoom in the view the structural components. The teacher can use these models to start a class discussion about how the structure is working and identifying different types of  structural components. 


Student Instructions

Day 1: Discussion with models

Students will engage in notes presented about the history of structural systems, and what helps in identifying the specific structural components. Students should think about their own observations in building and identify possible structural components to the class. During the notes, students will actively participate in discussions about how structural systems work.


2 Direct Instruction with Discussion and Sharing (DIRECT INSTRUCTION)

Free, Paid

Day1: Discussion & Notes

After viewing the 3D models the teacher can then progress the class discussion to the history behind each of the structural components and identify what might have prompted new structures to occur in history. Prompt the student to think about materials that were invented and what time periods sparked new structures to be designed and built.  The teacher can also share prepared presentations that show various kinds of 

The teacher should have a created a Padlet wall before class in which the students contribute their web quest finding to and share out with their peers.

Student Instructions

Day 1: Discussion & Notes

Following the discussion and notes, students are required to complete a Web quest to investigate and document different types of systems. The students are then asked to document their web quest using the Padlet wall the teacher created, adding links and images.

3 Collaboration with Peers 1 (INDEPENDENT PRACTICE)

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Day 2:

In teams, students will select a specific type of structural system to further investigate and choose a real life architectural or civil engineering project where the system is utilized. Using Google  Slides or Docs, the team will work collaborativly to produce sketches and diagrams of the structural systems and its components. Each team will produce technical documentation of their web search and use APA format when citing their sources. A reference page with at least six sources is required.  The instructor will provide a list of prompted questions to help aid the students in their research. 

4 Collaboration with Peers 2 (INDEPENDENT PRACTICE)

Free, Paid

Day 3:

In teams, students will document and organize their plans for implantation by creating schematic sketches and diagrams for their model. They should utilize Sketch Up to produce diagrams for use during construction of their physical model. At this point, materials needed should also be documented and outside materials should be brought in or purchased by students or teacher.

5 Collaboration with Peers 3 (INDEPENDENT PRACTICE)

Activity: Creating

Day 4-12:

In teams, the students will create a small scale model highlighting their structural system. Models should be reflective of the structural system as opposed to a mass model. In addition to the model, students will produce an informational component of the model which includes valuable information that answers the described inquiry during the initial research completed. The component can be interactive or text based. 

6 The Visit (WRAP UP)

Activity: Exploring

Day 13:

Students will visit the museum to learn about other types of structural projects in history chosen by their peers. They will be given a short list of questions in which they should be able to answer during or after their museum visit.

Day 14: Students are encouraged to invite others to visit the museum as well as administration and parents.